Family Test Policy
The Bible teaches that the family is a God given institution for bringing children into the world, for their wellbeing, for the wellbeing of adults and indeed society at large.
It is not surprising therefore that research demonstrates that while strong families bring great public policy benefits to society, broken families present very real challenges.
The annual cost of family breakdown on a UK basis is estimated to be £47billion per annum!
In this context we believe that it is imperative for good public policy to always seek to support and never undermine family life.
We were therefore extremely encouraged by the Prime Minister, David Cameron’s commitment on 18 August 2014 to introduce the ‘family test’ which requires Government Departments to consider, in the development of their policies, the potential impact of any proposed changes on the family.
The Prime Minister stated “I said previously that I wanted to introduce a family test into government. Now that test is being formalised as part of the impact assessment for all domestic policies. Put simply that means every single domestic policy that government comes up with will be examined for its impact on the family. That’s my commitment to you.”
Guidance was published in October 2014 by the Department for Work and Pensions and detailed how Whitehall Departments should go about assessing whether policies impact the family.
The family test currently applies to Wales only to the extent that policy and legislation impacting Wales is defined at Westminster. It does not yet apply to Wales to the extent that policy and legislation emanates from the devolved institutions.
Given the important role that family plays in all areas of society, CARE believes that similar ‘family test’ guidance should be issued by the Welsh Government and applied to the development of all the policy and legislation that it produces.
Questions for Candidates
- Given that the annual cost of family breakdown is estimated to be around £47 billion per annum what public policy steps will you take to strengthen family life in Wales?
- Would you commit to supporting the formal introduction of a ‘family test’ (on a similar basis to that developed by the Department of Work and Pensions) for devolved policy and legislation in Wales so that potential effects on family life are considered throughout the policy development process?