Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Weakening Marriage Rates Will Weaken Families

5 May 2014

Weakening Marriage Rates Will Weaken Families

Family First NZ says that the latest statistics on marriage are a warning bell that we ignore the benefits of marriage at our peril as a society.

“Marriage has been impacted by confusion over the function and purpose of marriage as evidenced during the ‘gay marriage’ debate last year. It has also been weakened and undermined by cohabiting, and unwed childbearing. NZ has one of the highest teenage birth rates in the OECD, and sole parents with dependent children make up 30 percent of families with children – again, one of the highest rates,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“The question we must ask is whether the decreasing rate of marriage has been good for society. The evidence suggests that it has caused untold harm and cost.”

According to Why Marriage Matters - a report co-authored by 13 leading social science scholars, including Professor William Galston, a domestic policy adviser to the Clinton administration - parental divorce or non-marriage appears to increase children's risk of school failure, the risk of suicide, psychological distress and, most significantly, delinquent and criminal behaviour.

A report by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research in 2008 estimated that the fiscal cost to the taxpayer of family breakdown and decreasing marriage rates is at least $1 billion a year and has cost about $8b over the previous decade.

“As we tackle the harms of family violence, it is also significant to look at rates of child abuse and domestic violence within different family structures - something that policy-makers and politicians seem unable or unwilling to do. Children being raised by their married biological parents are by far the safest from violence – and so too are the adults,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“Whenever marriage is promoted, it has often been labeled as an attack on solo or divorced parents, and that has kept us from recognising the qualitative benefits of marriage which have been discovered from decades of research. In virtually every category that social science has measured, children and adults do better when parents get married and stay married – provided there is no presence of high conflict or violence. This is not a criticism of solo parents. It simply acknowledges the benefits of the institution of marriage.”

Family First is calling on the government to develop policies to strengthen and support marriages, the removal of marriage tax penalties, and to introduce tax incentives for marriage.

“Marriage is an important social good with a smorgasbord of positive outcomes for children and adults alike. Governments should focus on, and encourage and support what works,” says Mr McCoskrie.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Royals: The Prince Of Wales And Duchess Of Cornwall To Visit

Prime Minister John Key welcomes today’s announcement that the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit New Zealand in November. This will be the second joint visit for Their Royal Highnesses to New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Tracey Martin Replaced: Ron Mark Is New New Zealand First Deputy Leader

Clayton Mitchell was the successful candidate for the Associate Whip position. Winston Peters was re-elected as Leader by the Caucus. Ron Mark was elected as the Deputy Leader with effect from 10am, Friday, 3rd July. More>>

ALSO:

Rebuild Rebrand: "Regenerate Christchurch" To Replace CERA

The regeneration of Christchurch will be the city’s focus for the next five years as local leadership progressively takes control of the rebuild, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

ALSO:

Nauru: Scholars Urge Minister To Act On Deteriorating Democracy

“Since the 2013 election in Nauru, there has been a series of disturbing developments on the islands that indicate a severe deterioration in the state of its parliamentary democracy and in the rule of law,” say the scholars. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: NZ Begins Presidency Of UN Security Council

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed the start of New Zealand’s month-long Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in New York. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Cash For Charter Schools, Mould For State Schools

“Recently released financial statements show the Whangarei charter school He Puna Marama received $3.9 million in government funding to the end of last year. Yet their audited accounts show they only spent $1.4 million on education, leaving almost $2.5 million over two years unaccounted for." More>>

ALSO:

Kiwirail Plans Shift From Electric: National Urged Not To Take Backwards Step

The National Government shouldn’t drag New Zealand backwards by replacing its climate friendly electric trains with carbon-polluting diesel trains, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Capital Connection:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news