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Public Works is UNISON Scotland's campaign for jobs, services, fair taxation and the Living Wage. This blog will provide news and analysis on the delivery of public services in Scotland. We welcome comments and if you would like to contribute to this blog, please contact Dave Watson d.watson@unison.co.uk. For other information on what's happening in UNISON Scotland please visit our website.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

What policy changes do families need in post-crash Britain?

A new briefing from IPPR explores the central problems and anxieties affecting families across Britain today. The first of their ‘Condition of Britain’ papers.

They highlight five main areas of concern:

·      Financial pressures caused by poor growth in real wages and price increases on essentials like energy, food, fares and childcare.
·      Finding time for each other due to long working hours and poor family leave policies.
·      Money and domestic responsibilities put pressure on relationships leading to higher rates of divorce and separation. Geographical mobility weakens family support mechanisms.
·      Parents do a good job, but need support. Stress and poor mental health is on the increase.
·      Certain markets intrude into family life skewing children’s priorities towards material goods and away from quality relationships.

The paper then sets out some lessons for policy and action.

These include:

·      The importance of a decent income, not just benefits.
·      Strong relationships matter and this means more than just a tax break for married couples.
·      Parents need practical help, not isolation or blame.
·      We need strong families who are able to stand up to market pressure.

This is a really useful contribution to the debate about the pressures and support families need.

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