Chairman of Support 4 the Family
Chairman of UKIP Haltemprice & Howden Association
The Family as a Party Policy Area
Alan Williams, Chairman of Support 4 the Family, sent the following email to Paul Nuttall, UKIP Party Leader, on 12 January 2017.
I am writing to you as Chairman of Support 4 the Family, a group of UKIP members dedicated to promoting the natural family. We have received our invitations from Paul Oakden to attend a series of meetings to discuss policy issues with the portfolio holders you have appointed.
It is good to see such decisive action in making these appointments but we are concerned about the omission of a portfolio for the family. We believe that this should be major party policy area for the following reasons.
- In the North, a key target for future elections, many have traditional, common sense views about marriage and the family. As voters, in our view, they are more likely to be attracted to policies which support them in looking after their families and their children. We are not persuaded that there is much sympathy for the idea that a family is any group of people who “share the same fridge”, as some would put it. This attitude may prevail among the metropolitan elite, but northerners in particular are more likely to ask themselves “Where’s Mum?” on seeing two men looking after children for example.
- The annual cost of family failure in the UK has been estimated by the Relationships Foundation to be about £48 Billion and rising. (More details at; www.relationshipsfoundation.org/family-policy/cost-of-family-failure-index/) This figure includes tax credits, single parent benefits, housing benefit, physical and mental ill health costs, as well as the costs of social services, children in care, impact on children’s education, behaviour problems and crime. If less than half of this could be saved over £300 million/week could be dedicated to the NHS.
- UKIP has many members and supporters with a traditional understanding of the family, and they need to feel their views are represented within the party. This would also encourage their active involvement. Although the Scottish Manifesto contained a commitment to oppose the “Named Person” scheme, and the Welsh Manifesto supported home-schooling, local and regional manifestos for 2016 said little about the family. The national UKIP Manifesto has a section on “Childcare and the Family” but it is essentially about the cost of nursery childcare as if it is desirable for very young children to be put in nurseries while their mothers go out to work. We believe that there should be tax benefits for parents to help mothers look after their own children, especially in the early years. The 2015 Manifesto is commendable for the initial presumption of 50-50 shared parenting in the event of family breakdown, the appointment of independent oversight of the Family Courts and concern about the rising number of forced adoptions. We believe these policies need to be developed further.
We would like to see the appointment of a UKIP Spokesman/woman for the Family with traditional views about the natural family as the basic unit of a healthy society. We have the expertise to make well researched contributions to any policy development. Unfortunately at the moment we have some difficulty responding to Paul Oakden’s invitation because we cannot find anything in the drop down menu of Policy Areas that focusses on our concerns. We hope this can be rectified because we would very much like to be involved.
Alan J Williams
Chairman Support 4 the Family
Chairman UKIP Haltemprice & Howden Association
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