News Brief: Supporting Relationships and Sounding off for Justice

The Telegraph reports today that Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith will announce this week a £30 million programme of "relationship support", under which 'couples will receive free counselling sessions to help them stay together as part of a Government drive to support marriage and cut down the cost of family breakdown'. The increased expenditure (from £5 million this year) will be justified by the potential savings to the taxpayer if couples stay together. Interestingly, though, we are also told that:
"Under a shake up of the benefit system, he will pledge that couples will be rewarded for staying together, receiving more money than single parents in the long term."

No stone will be left unturned to keep couples together. As well as financial incentives, couples "can also use a Government-backed website, called the Couple Connection, which is currently featuring advice suggesting that men buy their partner a card on Valentine’s Day".

Meanwhile: "The Law Society is to launch a high-profile campaign, ‘Sound off for justice’, this week – aimed at harnessing public opposition to legal aid cuts." Apparently, a 'specially designed' website (aren't all websites 'specially designed'?) for the campaign will go live today (although it is not yet live as I type this), where: "Members of the public will be invited to ‘sound off’ by signing up to the campaign". Let us hope that this is not a case of too little, too late - after all, the deadline for responses to the government's legal aid green paper is next Monday.


  1. All the forms ask for partner's income if you live together and give you less if you put a figure in there. That needs to change rather than this hot air.

  2. I also meant to say that I admire the aims of the web site and think is a good idea. Should also be a discussion advice page on it (moderated). Like this one.


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