Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Tory Party’s star backbench Brexiteer, believes public policy is undermining the family, in part because it is an obstacle to state power.
The Roman Catholic conservative, who has six children himself notes that “Official statistics show that only two-thirds of British children live with both parents until the age of 14, compared with the OECD average of 84 per cent” in an article for the Daily Mail.
“Such a figure is one of the worst in the Western world. Inevitably, there’s an effect on mental health, with more than half of the cases that arise being linked to family problems.
“According to the Centre for Social Justice, seven out of ten criminals come from broken homes. Also, single-parent families are twice as likely to live in poverty,” he adds, risking some controversy — as politicians who point out the negative statistics associated with non-traditional families are typically mischaracterised as “attacking” and denigrating the efforts of single mothers, in particular.
“Not all statistical relationships show cause and effect, but it is hard to argue against these stark figures which, I am convinced, are, to an extent, the fault of the State,” insists Rees-Mogg.
Hungary: We Will Make Our Country Family Friendly So Population Can Grow Without Mass Migration https://t.co/LOeeaMucNl
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 22, 2017
“The fact is that there is an inherent tension between the Family and the State,” the Somerset MP argues.
“Those who favour the collective know that its most powerful opponent is the family, which will guard its interests against the authoritarian centre.
“In Scotland, the SNP” — the EU loyalist, left-wing ‘nationalist’ party which runs Scotland’s devolved government — “shows how real this tension is through its plan to have a state-appointed adult to monitor every child.”
— NO2NP (@NO2NPcampaign) August 2, 2018
Rees-Mogg highlights a number of issues within the tax and welfare system which encourage couples to either mislead the authorities about their relationship status or not form traditional households in the first place, as single persons enjoy more a more lucrative benefits regime.
The MP suggests that while “It is not the role of the Government to tell people how to live their lives… it is reasonable to help people lead the lives they want to lead,” and that more people would try to form families if it were not financially disincentivised.
He stops short of suggesting that the Personal Allowance should be made fully transferable within single-breadwinner families, however, as pro-family social conservatives have long advocated.
Currently, the Marriage Allowance allows spouses to transfer a mere £1,190 of their unused Personal Allowance to their partners, subject to conditions.