UK gov’t official calls for sanctions against large families

A senior gov't official stated that one way to curb Britain's social problems is to tell mothers with large families not to have any more children.
Mon Jul 23, 2012 - 11:14 pm EST

LONDON, July 23, 2012 ( - A senior gov’t official stated that one way to curb Britain’s social problems is to tell mothers with large families not to have any more children.

Louise Casey, head of a government agency set up to deal with troubled families following last summer’s riots, said the state should “interfere” and tell women they are irresponsible and should be “ashamed” of how they are damaging society if they have “too many children,” according to a report in the Telegraph.

“There are plenty of people who have large families and function incredibly well, and good luck to them, it must be lovely,” Casey was reported to have said. “The issue for me, out of the families that I have met, [is that] they are not functioning, lovely families.”

Casey said her troubled families unit has identified 120,000 dysfunctional families that she said cost taxpayers an estimated £9 billion per year, and that a fifth of them have more than five children, so she wants the mothers of these families to take “responsibility” and stop getting pregnant.

“The responsibility is as important as coming off drugs, coming off alcohol, getting a grip and getting the kids to school,” Casey said.

Casey called her tactic a tough approach because of tough economic times, and argued for sanctions against those who do not take responsibility for their burgeoning families.

“Yes, we have to help these families. But I also don’t think we should soft-touch those families. We are not running some cuddly social workers’ programme to wrap everybody in cotton wool,” Casey said.

However, the president of the Vatican Bank said last year the solution to social problems stemming from shrinking economies lies in government support for larger families.

The “true origin of the current economic crisis” is Europe’s aging population and low birth rate, said Ettore Gotti Tedeschi.

Writing in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, Tedeschi said that “children are the engine of recovery” and warned that an aging population and shrinking work force offset by mass immigration will inevitably produce social instability.

Those in power who hope to create a stable economy in Europe, he said, must “define a strategy to concretely support families in their natural vocation to have children.”

They “must invest in the family and in children in order to generate rapid economic growth, thanks to factors such as increased demand, savings and investment.”

Demographers have consistently warned of the social upheaval inevitably produced by economic trouble that follows upon drastically low birth rates. Economists have explained this by pointing out that many countries with large public welfare systems have accumulated massive public debt by borrowing against the potential earning power of future generations who are no longer being born.

Some countries, including Russia, have placed restrictions on abortion in the face of a demographic decline, in an eleventh-hour attempt to stave off economic disaster.

Other countries, such as France, Italy, Germany and Poland, have offered cash and benefits to women to encourage them to have more children.

  abortion, contraception, family, sterilization

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