Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Is the UK failing its children?

The Unicef report showing that the well being of children in the UK is worse than in most other industrial countries is rightly cause for concern. The people who go on about marriage as a solution to child poverty and lack of well being should perhaps note that the proportion of lone parents in Sweden is roughly the same as that in the UK, and yet Sweden was 2nd and the UK 21st out of 21.

One advantage of comparative studies is that they show what works well and what we could learn from - higher taxes and more support for families. Not that everyone is quite so interested in looking at the evidence before deciding who to blame for the UK failing its children, of course. Here, for example, is the most recommended comment on the BBC's 'Have Your Say' board:

"House prices, utility costs, transport costs and taxes by the bucketload mean that the responsible members of society cannot afford children. Meanwhile, the spongers, often (But not always) badly educated and poor role models find breeding is profitable, and the route to a better house. Add in PC madness, no discipline at home or school, and you get 'Lord of the Flies' as reality. Still, nothing that Tont can't solve by appointing a 'Childrens Tsar' and adding a few new taxes!"


At 9:20 pm , Anonymous Chris Baldwin said...

The 'Tont' sets it off to a tee, I thought.

At 12:46 pm , Anonymous Tom H said...

Well, the "Lord of the Flies" comparison has now been taken up by no less (and no more) a figure than Alan Duncan.

At 7:34 pm , Anonymous angus said...

The UNICEF evidence for the UK is six or seven years out of date. Of course there is a need to make people aware that poverty is still a major problem in the UK but this report is being used by the Tories to undermine confidence that Labour governments can do anything about it. Not good for winning support for tackling the problem.


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