In their drive to replicate the 'Britain is a new Country' so beloved of Tony Blair, the Government seems to have forgotten that the basic building block of any society is family, writes UKIP Leader Nigel Farage MEP (Sunday Telegraph).
•It is at home where we learn the fundamentals of life, and it is family that provides the bedrock upon which we rest secure when the vicissitudes of life rage around us.
So why on earth does it appear that in the taxation system the Conservative led administration is deliberately undermining the institution? If it is a 'lifestyle choice' as George Osborne describes, to bring up your children yourself, then it is one that across the world and throughout history has been the standard norm. Yes, there have been those that suggest that the state should become our parents, Plato suggested it after all, but he was shot down effectively by Aristotle and the idea has had pretty bad press since then.
For good or ill, a vast quantity of evidence points to the conclusion that children brought up by their parents have better societal and educational outcomes than those who are not. No amount of social engineering, either via the educational sector, or as we are now seeing through the tax and credit system is going to change that. It is not for nothing that in almost every society in the world family is regarded as the structure within which child rearing is best conducted.
Recent nonsensical Government policy seems to suggest that the real economic enemy to the Coaltion isn't the failure to cut red tape and empower small and medium sized businesses, but seems to be the concept of the traditional family, where one parent (of whatever gender - after all over a million households now have the woman as the main bread winner) goes out to work while the other brings up the children.
Child benefit is available to those earning up to £60,000 a year, where those with two incomes can earn up to £100,000. It ditched the eminently sensible suggestion, and long term Ukip policy, that tax allowances should be transferable to those in a legally constituted relationship. As a result, it penalises those who are married with only one earner to the tune of up to and over £10,000 per year.
By offering a £1,300 voucher to those in two income households while dismissing single earning households shows contempt for more than a million families who opt for the more traditional child rearing structure.
I personally am a strong believer that the family is the best place in which to raise children. That’s not to say I think every family should have a stay at home parent, but a strong family unit where the children spend time in the company of their parents is something most people would champion. This doesn't mean that I think those who work hard in often difficult and trying circumstances to bring up their children are anything other than admirable. They too need support. But to have a Conservative Government leading a charge against marriage and the family and using taxes to act as their vanguard in this work seems to me to be betraying the very foundations of our society. It will be expensive, destructive and at very best a fiscal sop to the clamour from the modernist ideologues that infest Westminster.
If we want to help people, particularly those on lower incomes, we should set the basic tax allowance at the minimum wage, and allow it to be transferred. That way we could allow people to make informed and compassionate lifestyle choices about how they bring up their children at home, without suffering a massive financial hit for having the temerity to choose. Nobody in dual income households would lose out, but we would be building a happier and stronger society if we did.