The Thinking 

The Failed British Experiment in Subsidizing the Unmarried

August 11, 2011


DAVID CAMERON decried the immorality of British society in his address before Parliament today. “As I said yesterday, there is no one step that can be taken. But we need a benefit system that rewards work and that is on the side of families,” he said.

That would mean a system that provided no public benefits to unmarried women at all. As discussed in a previous post, the illegitimacy rate in Britain for native-born whites exceeds 50 percent and in some areas, two out of three children are born out of wedlock.  The government provides single mothers with income support, housing benefits, and free milk and vitamins. So generous is the British government toward unwed mothers that a recent proposal to cap total household benefits for single mothers to £18,200 to prevent it from exceeding the average income of similar households without benefits has sparked anger.

The problem in Britain is not family collapse, as a reader from England said in this entry. It’s the failure to create families at all.

 But Britain is a long way from turning its back on unwed mothers and sexual freedom. If one reads through the comments sections of the online editions of British newspapers, they are often dripping with disdain for the past and the traditional family. Here’s one comment from a reader that appeared after the article about illegitimacy discussed above:

My parents were married.

Mind you my dad spent the best part of my childhood having affair after affair. We all knew it, we all suffered because of it but I guess thats okay seeing as to the outside world we were the perfect example of what a family should be

Marriage can be wonderful but for a lot of people its only a front and the reality is a lot more disgusting than the life of a single parent. And possibly a lot more harmful to the children involved.

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