Early Parenthood: Supporting Fathers — [Geraint Davies in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:59 am on 30th January 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Fiona Bruce Fiona Bruce Conservative, Congleton 9:59 am, 30th January 2019

My hon. Friend makes an excellent point and I will indeed refer to it.

My hon. Friend Tracey Crouch, who introduced the debate so well, referred to a CSJ report from this year. Another CSJ report, “Every Family Matters”, which was produced as long ago as July 2009, said very similar things, such as the importance of strengthening families and of having a good, strong input into a child’s life. Yet I have here an interesting statistic: 43% of unmarried parents split up before a child’s fifth birthday, but only 8% of married parents do. That is an interesting factor for us to consider: if we are looking at strengthening family life, we should not forget that supporting marriage is part of that.

Sadly, the UK has one of the highest rates of family breakdown among the 30 OECD countries. Just two-thirds of children aged nought to 14 live with both parents. In the OECD countries overall, 84% of children of those ages live with both parents. Very interesting work is being done on the link between those factors and British productivity, which is 18% below the OECD average.