2:21pm Friday 13th December 2013 in Letters
A PARAGRAPH in a national newspaper caught my eye about the benefit chaos with the new computer system handling the government’s flagship Universal Credit scheme, and how it is not able to cope with the ‘complicated’ lives led by millions of families. I wonder who helped to create this confusion? We will have further confusion since the redefinition of marriage. It has not come into force yet, and already there are moves to airbrush out traditional marriage from official figures. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is consulting on how to present marriage statistics in the future. ONS is proposing to lump together all traditional marriages with same -sex marriages so only one total is given.
Statistics are important. They are used to make public policy and hold politicians to account.
It is vital that our national statistics do not amalgamate the figures for what the ONS calls ‘opposite-sex’ (i.e. traditional) and same-sex marriage. For one thing, without separate figures, it will be impossible to tell if the redefinition of marriage has the impact we’ve been warning about.
Study after study shows that traditional marriage delivers health benefits for adults and children. But comparisons with decades of existing marriage research will be unworkable if we cannot compare like with like.
Norman Plaisted Vivian Road Newport
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