Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Father and son

In amongst Theresa May’s rather Stalinist move, sending mental health assessors into schools, to diagnose mental illnesses in children as young as four was the appointment of the world’s first minister for Suicide Prevention.

Just the thought of a government minister trying to stop anyone from ending their life is a thought that may well keep people from sleep at night. That it turns out said minister is Jackie Doyle-Price, who made a rather crass joke about running off Beachy Head exacerbates the problem.

But let us examine the facts. We know that 75% of all suicides are men. Even the Department for Work and Pensions (2015) acknowledged that fathers were three times more likely to die after separation than mothers.

So, would it not be reasonable to suggest that a move to the automatic default setting of shared or joint parenting would cut that suicide rate considerably? The cost of family breakdowns in the UK has reached £47bn per year, yet a shared parenting arrangement would allow both parents the opportunity to work and contribute to the economy.

It would be nice if all children could grow up in a family environment with both parents, but that is not always possible. According to recent statistics, 42% of marriages in England and Wales end in divorce. Figures in Australia indicate that children in a shared custody arrangement have a lower chance of abuse than those in a single parent environment, so this really is the next best thing.

In short, we have a situation, due to the 1989 Children’s Act, which is causing suicide and massive expense to the tax payer. Mrs May’s answer to that is to spend even more money trying to find the solution, despite it staring her in the face.

It is a ridiculous situation. I mean, imagine a country taxing it’s citizens and then deciding the best way to deal with poverty is to give some back as Tax Credits, when it would be simpler and more cost effective to tax them less in the first place. Still, I don’t suppose any country in the world would be THAT stupid, would it…?


Martin Day, Libertarian Party

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