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

2014 General Election: Voting Period Begins

The first votes for the 2014 general election will be cast today, Wednesday 3 September, as advance voting begins ahead of election day on Saturday 20 September.

“Election day is September 20, but if you want, you can vote from today,” says Chief Electoral Officer Robert Peden. “Almost 300 advance voting places will be available around the country for people to cast early votes.”

Times and opening hours will vary around the country to suit local needs. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Two Dead, One Injured: Suspect Charged After Ashburton Shooting

Russell John Tully has appeared in Christchurch District Court. Tully has been remanded in custody on charges of murder of Peg Noble and Leigh Cleveland and attempted murder of Lindy Curtis. More>>

ALSO:

John Key Press Conference: Ashburton Shootings, Judith Collins Inquiry

Prime Minister John Key has delayed the release of Nationals’ fiscal policy in light of this morning’s shooting at a Work and Income office in Ashburton... Key also answered questions about Judith Collins, and confirmed that independent inquiry will be held with regard to allegations made against Collins. More>>

ALSO:

Internet MANA: Georgina Beyer Rocks The Waka

“There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority of MANA members and supporters around the country” states MANA Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Update: Inquiry Into Release Of NZSIS Information

The Inquiry would be conducted in private and individuals would appear before her separately over a period of more than a week. She does not intend to name those summoned to give evidence until her report is published. “I can confirm that all persons summoned will be required to appear under oath...” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On John Key’s ‘Blame It On Judith’ Strategy

Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the Serious Fraud Office. More>>

ALSO:

Maori Council Lawyers' Statement: Supreme Court Decision On Maori Water Rights

“…the Supreme Court refused to give Pouakani people what they asked for, but may have given them something much, much better instead… the Supreme Court has questioned whether the Crown owns the River at all.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news