Screen shot 2010-07-16 at 16.26.46By Paul Goodman

The Relationships Foundation is a Cambridge-based think-tank with a strongly Christian flavour.  It has a particular interest in trying to measure general well-being – a theme of David Cameron's in opposition while the economy was booming, but stressed less in government in finanically straightened times.

It warns today that Coalition disagreements over tax breaks for marriage – which the Guardian tried to stoke earlier this week risk missing what it sees as the big
picture –
that "families affect everyone and they affect every part of life".  The
Foundation has previously welcomed the Task Force for Childhood and Families

Trend, its Executive Director, said –

"The coalition must not get distracted by internal tensions.
We have
a great opportunity with the Task Force: it should be a permanent body
at the
heart of government setting the architecture for the coalition
long-term approach to families.  Only
by getting the family right can we hope to increase wellbeing, improve
social mobility and look for the ‘heavy lift’ which will essential to
the fiscal deficit.

“The married couple’s tax
threatens to become a distraction for the media and the parties. Instead
Task Force should ensure that policy in all areas contributes positively
to the
goal of strengthening families and improving children’s lives. It should
consider how all policy can be ‘family proofed’ to ensure it positively
influences families."

“Issues around the married
couple’s tax
allowance will have to be resolved. David Cameron made it a key message
of the
campaign and it is specifically mentioned in the coalition document. But
should be one strand of a broad range of policies aimed at supporting
This new era of smaller government and the ‘big society’ can only work
families play their part. The government must actively support them in
this role."

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