The family: related links
:Torygeddon 1: Every Family Matters?
The Family - what does it mean, this ephemeral concept that makes Tory policymakers so very moist and excited? It doesn't mean any old bunch of people bound together by blood and love. Ian Duncan Smith's vision of The Family as propounded in his new policy paper, Every Family Matters, is the relatively recent kitsched-out 1950s incarnation of the nuclear heterosexual brood: you know, one man and one woman bound in holy wedlock, living together with their genetic offspring, him in the office, her in the kitchen. Well, that rules out my family for a start, and probably yours too. And yet Tory wallahs - not even in power yet but already slavering to sink their teeth into Labour’s social reforms - get all gooey over The Family. All you need to do is have a shyster mention 'ordinary families', as distinguished from the rest of us scum, and Tory spinsters start wetting their little knickers.
:Tory women revolt on marital tax break
'David Cameron is facing a rebellion from women within his own party against his decision to reward marriage through tax breaks.
Senior Tory figures fear their leader's move could alienate single mothers, as well as millions of cohabiting couples.
MPs and parliamentary candidates say Cameron, who has emphasised marriage as the bedrock of society, risks moralising about people's personal relationships.'
:David Cameron: I misspoke over marriage tax breaks
Misspoke: David Cameron
'David Cameron admitted today that he had "messed up" over the Tories' commitment to a marriage tax break, but insisted it would be delivered within a Parliament.
After days of Labour claims that Conservative tax policy was in disarray, the Tory leader sought to draw a line by saying he had simply "misdescribed" his party's position.
Confusion about the policy partly overshadowed a major Tory election campaign launch on Monday, when Mr Cameron appeared to downgrade his commitment to a tax incentive for marriage.'
:David Cameron tells struggling parents that money doesn't help bring up kids
'David Cameron yesterday told struggling parents that money does not matter when you are bringing up children.
In astonishing remarks, the multimillionaire Tory party leader said "warmth" was more important than wealth to making sure children were happy, healthy and did well at school.
He said when parents were "competent and committed", financial circumstances made no "significant" difference to prospects.
"What matters most to a child's life chances is not the wealth of their upbringing but the warmth of their parenting."'
:Parents need policies not platitudes from David Cameron
'Dawn Primarolo MP, Labour's Children and Families Minister said:
"Parents need policies not platitudes from David Cameron. Families in Britain don't just want warm words, they deserve to know exactly what David Cameron would do to support them."
:Tory plans for married couples tax breaks under fire
'Conservative plans for tax breaks for married couples have come under fire from both Labour and the Lib Dems.
Tory minister William Hague defended the proposal, saying: "It has got to be right to support families and supporting marriage is part of that."
But Schools Secretary Ed Balls said the policy was "unfair" and amounted to "social engineering".
And Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said it was an expensive "bribe" that would prove unfair to many good parents.'
:Tories' chaotic retreat on married tax break
'The Tories went into retreatyesterday over plans to give married couples a tax break.
Senior party sources said no details or costings of the plans for David Cameron's flagship policy would be published until after the election.
And former leader Iain Duncan Smith, who first called for the tax break, said the Tories should consider a cut-price version of the £4.9 billion plan.
The back-pedalling comes amid growing unhappiness in the shadow cabinet at the current proposal which discriminates against single-parents and couples where both work. Instead it favours rich families, where only one partner works, by letting them share their tax-free allowance.'
:How £100 can boost a child's reading ability
'A CHILD'S reading age and ability to count develop a month earlier for every extra £100 a month in family income, according to a government-funded study to be unveiled this week.
Gaps in the development of children from different socio-economic backgrounds appear by the age of three and widen until 14. The findings, written by a panel chaired by Professor John Hills, are based on the Millennium Cohort Project which tracks 19,000 youngsters.
It will fuel divisions between Labour and the Tories over the link between a child's prospects and household income.
Harriet Harman, Labour's deputy leader, said last night: "[The report] provides an incontrovertible basis for us to move beyond inaccurate assertions made by the opposition ... David Cameron says that the differences in child outcomes between a child born in poverty and a child born in wealth are statistically insignificant when both have been raised by confident and able parents.
"But what he fails to say is that you can't separate out good parenting skills from family income. The two are so strongly correlated. So this is an utterly misleading portrayal of the evidence."
The report says inequalities are exacerbated by differences in the mother's education, the father's job and deprivation in the area where they live.
Details of how far up the salary scale the effect occurs are expected in the report.'