Revealed: [Pounds Sterling]9bn Cost of Britain's Problem Families

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), December 11, 2011 | Go to article overview

Revealed: [Pounds Sterling]9bn Cost of Britain's Problem Families


Byline: Glen Owen POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT

PROBLEM families are each costing the taxpayer an astonishing [pounds sterling]75,000 every year, new figures reveal today.

Ministers have been horrified by research showing that on average [pounds sterling]9billion is spent each year on 120,000 families blighted by jobless parents and truanting children.

More than two-thirds of this is devoted to protecting children - via social care and child support - and tackling the crime and anti-social behaviour such families often generate.

Police have said that in some cases it would be cheaper to have an officer permanently stationed at a family's home than respond to constant call-outs.

The findings come ahead of a major speech later this week by David Cameron in which he is expected to announce new sanctions against such families - combined with what sources describe as 'targeted resources' - as part of his mission to tackle 'broken Britain'. Researchers devised a seven-point checklist of factors, with families that fulfilled five or more being designated as 'problem'.

The criteria include no one in the family being employed, neither parent having any qualifications and being unable to afford certain basic food or clothing items.

The research reveals that teenagers raised in such families are 36 times more likely to be excluded from school than children in families with no problems. …

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