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Families Commission Must Be Of Larger Strategy

Families Commission Must be Part of Larger Strategy

Christian Heritage NZ (CHNZ) leader Ewen McQueen said today that the Government’s proposed Families Commission needed to be part of a wider strategy to rebuild a marriage culture in New Zealand. Speaking to the Mt Eden Rotary Club in Auckland Mr McQueen said rebuilding widespread public support for the institution of marriage was the single most important thing that the Government could do to strengthen family life in our nation and reduce the costs of family breakdown. He stated,

“ If the Families Commission is to be of any benefit to New Zealand children, it needs to part of a larger strategy to rebuild a marriage culture in our society. At the moment the Commission’s commitment to diversity and inclusiveness will work against the very thing our children most need - mums and dads who have made formal, lifelong, public commitments to each other. As such it is likely to be part of the problem rather than part of the solution for our families.”

Mr McQueen noted that the costs of family breakdown were one of the main reasons our tax to GDP ratio had risen steadily over the last thirty years from 23% in 1970 to nearly 35% today. The increase had continued regardless of whether economic policy had been more left wing or more right wing. He said,

“ Our experience over the last thirty years proves that it doesn’t matter what colour your economic policy is - taxes keep rising. Why is that ? ....Over the last thirty years, as a society we have walked away from the virtues that build strong family life - and now we are paying more and more each year to try and pick up the pieces of our broken families.” Mr McQueen went on to cite research showing how marriage produced better outcomes for family life and children in particular. This was because it involved a higher level of commitment and was thus inherently more stable than the alternatives.

He also listed a number of examples of marriage affirming policy initiatives that could be undertaken if the political will existed. These included income splitting for married couples, marriage impact reports for social legislation, and a marriage tax credit. He said these were the type of initiatives the CHNZ policy committee would be working on in preparation for the next election.

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