Relationship Alliance Response to Comprehensive Spending Review from Penny Mansfield, director of OnePlusOne

26 June 2013

“Today we have seen the Comprehensive Spending Review laid out from government.

We are encouraged by the support being shown to families, with continued support through help with council tax bills, however we are concerned with the increase in job losses and the impact this will have on families and relationships.

However, we are disappointed that no further support was offered to families. Financial burdens and the struggles of parenthood  prevent parents giving their children the best start in life. At a time when relationships should be about pulling together, added financial burden often cause relationships to suffer which in turn can lead to family breakdown, estimated to cost the state around £46 billion a year, with this figure rising all the time. This figure is fast approaching the entire education budget (£49 billion) and the amount which the government has reduced debt by since the last spending review.

With prices rising and pay falling, the squeeze for many families feels like a belt is being tightened that has no room left to budge. Here at the Relationships Alliance, we exist to strengthen relationships and share knowledge and information about the changing nature of relationships. Everything we do is based on the latest evidence. One Plus One’s recent report ‘Can we have a baby and not break up?’ found that financial burden is one of the key causes of stress for new parents. One in three new parents said they are stressed about money, with finances being the second most common cause of arguments.

In December 2010 the prime minister announced £30 million in the last spending review but there has been no mention this time which leads to concern for the future – this is integral to the work of the Relationships Alliance does to ensure that couples are given greater encouragement to use existing relationship support. Early intervention is key in preventing family breakdown.

Whilst we recognise the need that difficult financial decisions need to be made a lack of commitment to early intervention and relationship support will in turn generate greater costs in the future.”


For interview with Penny Mansfield or for further comment please contact the press office on

Notes to Editors

  • The Relationship Alliance believes that strong and stable personal and social relationships are the basis of a thriving society.
  • Relationship health is an essential part of the UK’s economic recovery – relationship breakdown will cost the UK £50 billion this year alone, an unsustainable figure.
  • Good quality personal and social relationships are central to our health and wellbeing.
  • Relationships are an important ‘social asset’ that is often ignored or undermined by public policy.