British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that all new government policies will have to pass a “family friendly test”, according to the BBC. He claims that he believes that parents and children are often overlooked when policies are drafted.
Each future policy, from October onwards, will be “examined for its impact on the family”. The government will also offer money to help with relationship counselling, prompting concerns that authorities are delving too far into people’s personal lives.
But the Prime Minister said that he did not want to be “accused of being judgemental”, but added that government would “help people who come together stay together”. The budget for relationship counselling has been doubled to £19.5m. At the same time there will be more support for families in difficulties like debt and the adoption process will be speeded up.
In a speech later today Cameron will say: “Whether it’s the benefits system incentivising couples to live apart or penalising those who go out to work or whether it’s excessive bureaucracy preventing loving couples from adopting children with no family at all.
“We can’t go on having government taking decisions like this which ignore the impact on the family.”
He will say: “Put simply that means every single domestic policy that government comes up with will be examined for its impact on the family.” Policies are already examined for how they will impact on the drive for equality and their environmental impact but in the past no consideration was put how how they would impact family life.
The policy has come about as a result of concerns that David Cameron is polling badly amongst women. There are also concerns that traditionalists see Cameron’s flagship policies such as gay marriage as an erosion on traditional family life.
Whilst some of the relationship counselling may be seen as draconian, the policy is likely to be popular amongst conservative grassroots, many of whom have become disillusioned recently. In almost every constituency in the country has seen large scale defections to UKIP by long-standing activists. It is vital the Conservatives win back some of these activists to have a realistic chance of winning the next election.