Sad, very sad indeed. And this is just typical of showing what this government pushed dependency culture pushes you to do. Some shocking quotes:
Britain has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Europe and, in 2001, 90% of births to mothers under 20 occurred outside marriages.
They have grasped better than most politicians the consequences of our poor education system. Last year fewer than half of teenagers finished compulsory schooling with five good GCSEs including maths and English. Recently Ofsted declared that almost 1.5m pupils attend secondary schools with substandard teaching and discipline. Christine Gilbert, head of the school standards watchdog, pointed out in her annual report that it is the poorest children who are most likely to get a raw deal from the system.
What future is there for a girl who graduates from one of these schools? Skilled and hard-working eastern Europeans monopolise menial jobs. The next step up – a job in, for example, catering or hairdressing if she can get it – pays about £10,000 a year before tax. This is slightly less than a single mother with two children receives in benefits and does not include somewhere to live rent-free.
Sir Norman Bettison, chief constable of West Yorkshire police, the force responsible for bringing Karen Matthews to justice, put it starkly: “We are talking here about the perverting influence of welfare. The more kids you have, the more money you get.” For some it is the only option.
Babies born to teenage mothers are 60% more likely to die in their first year than those born to other parents. A report from the Children’s Society claims that 25% of all youngsters living in step-families run away before the age of 16; many are younger than 11. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a social research charity, discovered that children with one parent are more likely to have behavioural problems, do less well at school, have sex earlier, suffer depression and turn to drugs and heavy drinking. They are also, according to evidence from the States, more likely to get involved with gangs and crime.
Welfare reform has to be done, not because we cannot afford it but because we are creating zombies in our midst. Is that what we want our societies to become?