AM slams Welsh Government’s ‘dodgy dossier’ promoting smacking Bill

Today, the Welsh Government tabled nanny state legislation to remove reasonable chastisement from law and criminalise parents who smack their kids.

A press release sent out ahead of the Bill’s publication included claims about public support which are not representative of the Welsh public’s views.

Darren Millar, Welsh Conservative Assembly Member for Clwyd West accused the Government of using a ‘dodgy dossier’ to promote its proposal.

He said:

“The Government’s press release announcing its anti-smacking Bill cites ‘research’ which shows 80% of parents don’t think it’s necessary to smack a child, and only 11% smacked their child in the last year.

“But the Government fails to mention that this was a small survey of 269 adults, who had previously agreed to be contacted by the Welsh Government, and were likely to be in favour of a ban already.

“Real, representative polls on smacking show that Welsh adults are overwhelmingly against a ban.

“ComRes polling shows 76% of Welsh adults do not believe smacking should be a criminal offence. Whilst the Government’s own survey of 1,298 people found that 64% think smacking shouldn’t be banned, and only 30% think it should.”

He added:

“Since the get-go, this out-of-touch Labour Government has ignored the views of Welsh parents who are simply seeking to do the best for their children.

“This proposal will lead to ordinary, loving parents facing arrest, prosecution and even conviction for using light physical discipline.

“And it won’t do anything to help kids who are genuinely at risk of abuse. In fact, it will distract the police and social workers by making them investigate every report of smacking, rather than focus their time on cases of real abuse.

“A smacking ban is unpopular and incredibly patronising to parents. The Government needs to but out of family life.”