by improving family policy.
At least, this is what he suggested on R4 this morning (he provided this as his 'final thought' when asked about what he would do if in power).
The Conservatives' policy document talks about what this actually means. Primarily, this is changes to the way cohabitation and marriage is taxed in the UK. Next: extra funding to a charity called Relate who deliver relationship support. Extra health visitors (up to the age of five). A better system for flexible working in parenthood. And finally, more generous childcare services.
I can't comment on the Relate one; I don't know much about them (but they're an effective organisation, great). More flexible hours and childcare for parents: awesome, and long overdue. Extra health visitors: not sure about this. Very costly, and health visits really are of pretty limited effectiveness in my experience (and these won't even be carried out by fully trained visitors after a certain age). This needs extensive research and careful costing.
Taxation: granted that the current system doesn't sound ideal, but this sounds worse. The plan, as I see it, would be to make people stay together for monetary reasons so that they work their problems out rather than splitting; even that has unpleasant implications (do we want couples that stay together because they can't afford to split up? What kind of happy families is that going to create?). But there's also a rather odd suggestion in the policy document that people are splitting apart to capitalise on child benefit (or at least claiming to do so).
If this is what's meant to be the party's remedy, then it needs some meat on its bones. Some of it is overdue. None of it is evidence based. It encourages people to marry for reasons other than love (!). The main thing seems to be to stop a number of people from making false tax credit claims; and this is going to encourage mass reform of the concept of 'family?'
Anyway, maybe I'm missing something, in which case anyone want to fill me in? (not beat me up)