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Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

The Daily Mail today reports that cohabiting couples are twice as likely to split up as married couples, according to a ‘new’ survey based on figures collected between 1991 and 2001.

Am I the only one who’s getting really bored of these sorts of articles in the news? Correct me if i’m wrong, but NEWSpapers are supposed to have NEWS, not old stories. For as long as I can remember, there have been arguments bashed around about the virtues and benefits of marrying over cohabiting. No doubt, such debates will form part of the coming election campaign, with marriage hopefully being a key battle ground for the main parties.

The trouble with statistics is that they can be manipulated to support any argument. So for every survey the Tories come up with about the benefits of married parents for children, Labour will come up just as many numbers to support unmarried couples and single parents. I actually don’t have a problem with the politicians manipulating statistics- if they didn’t have any basis for their policies, I would be more worried. But please, please, please can the newspapers stop printing old news??

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Firstly, apologies for such a long break from blogging- mid December to mid Jan was incredibly hectic! However, I simply couldn’t resist returning to the blawgosphere with a little something about David Cameron’s recent discussion of marriage. I should say at the outset that I am really excited to see marriage being treated as an election issue. At a time when there are so many things happening at an international level (aid in Haiti, Afghanistan, Iraq to name a few…), an issue such as marriage will almost certainly get Joe Voter motivated to actually go and make his voice heard at the polling station come election day. Because, as important as things like climate change and the war in Afghanistan are to us British folke, when it comes down to it, what we really want to know is how the various parties will deal with issues that affect us on a daily basis- things like tax, families and education. Such issues feel much closer to home than high brow discussions about G8 summits etc etc.

So today in The Times, it is reported that David Cameron has slightly back-tracked over his pledge to reward married couples with a tax break. The pledge seems to have been watered down into a tax break for married couples with children. This appears to be a nod in the direction of the Labour party, who have always said that tax breaks should be for parents not married couples. A source close to Ian Duncan Smith has suggested that this would be a ‘downpayment’ for a full tax break for all married couples, which would be introduced at a later stage when it can be afforded. 

I get a bit worried when politicians promise something in the future but leave room for a speedy exit. I just hope the Conservatives stick to this policy when/if they form the next government. As much as I am excited about marriage being debated in the broadsheets, I just hope this isn’t a load of hot air.

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