The Relationships Foundation’s annual “Cost of Family Failure Index” is now widely quoted both in the UK and internationally (see press release and media comment here). The latest update shows that the breakdown of relationships continues to be a huge charge on the public purse and has risen to £46bn a year (equivalent to a cost of £1,541 per taxpayer).
The annual Budget address the nation’s finances and considers how businesses can grow the economy. But the vital output of families needs to be part of the accounts too and we can no longer ignore the £46 billion cost of their failure which is unsustainable in any economic climate, let alone the current one. RF believes we need a balanced overall budget, an economic plus a social budget, that assesses the health and strength of the relationships on which we depend, and which create huge costs when they go wrong. The government depends on families for improvements in education, health, social care, welfare and criminal justice. Yet family policy is still ignored by the government.