A Conservative MP has expressed her disappointment at the Government’s failure to take families seriously.
Fiona Bruce, MP for Congleton, said she is unimpressed that the Government has failed to act fully on a commitment to implement a ‘family test’, which was proposed in August last year.
The objective of the test is to introduce “an explicit family perspective to the policy making process”.
Families hit hard
A number of MPs are concerned that it is not being applied and argue that recent policy changes have seen families suffer.
They would like to see a legal obligation for the Government to use the test on all prospective legislation.
Mrs Bruce told Premier Radio that it is her belief the Government is not taking the test “sufficiently seriously”.
She said: “We’re challenging the Government to stay true to the word they gave last year, that every piece of legislation would be put through a family test – ‘does this legislation strengthen family life?'”
The MP cited the recent consultation on changes to Sunday trading laws, which has the potential to damage family life.
She said: “We have a proposal that Sunday trading hours will be devolved to local authorities to see if they want to extend them. The family test needs to be applied to that.
“We need to see if it’s likely that local authorities will be put under pressure to extend those hours – that’s not going to be good for families.”
At the end of last month, it was revealed that the majority of people think relaxing current Sunday trading laws will cause shop workers’ family lives to suffer.
The results of the survey, commissioned by the Association of Convenience Stores, were submitted to the Government’s consultation.
The Christian Institute has drawn attention to how the Government has broken its promise on the issue, after the Keep Sunday Special campaign was told in the run up to the General Election that the Conservatives had “no current plans to relax the Sunday trading laws”.