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Stafford MP and Labour rival in war of words over family policy

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: August 19, 2014

Stafford MP and Labour rival in war of words over family policy

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Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy's views on "problem" families and the importance of marriage are creating controversy - and a furious response from his Labour rival Kate Godfrey.

Writing with Congleton colleague Fiona Bruce, Mr Lefroy says that family breakdown, and associated problems of low incomes, poor educational attainment and youngsters going of the rails are imposing a huge cost on society.

He claims that the decline of marriage as a foundation stone of society means that the family is "teetering on the brink of extinction". Mr Lefroy says he wants the Conservatives to put both economic and social stability at the heart of its manifesto next year.

"This means having the courage not only to state that stable families and marriage are a major part of the glue that holds our society together but also to demonstrate through our policies and actions that we believe it," he said.

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But Stafford Labour candidate Kate Godfrey accused him of rushing to blame poor people for "a dangerous failure to be rich", blaming single parents for all the ills of society, and "criminalising" poverty.

And she said the figures he used of the cost to the taxpayer of family breakdown were "nonsense".

"Forget the bedroom tax hitting vulnerable people; the fact that the majority of benefits are paid to working families; that the number of employed people claiming housing benefit has doubled on Mr Lefroy’s watch, or that six million people in Britain are paid less than the living wage….It’s single parent families who are the problem," Ms Godfrey said. 

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