From Count Quentin de la Be'cloyere
SIR — Tony Bond (Letters, January 19) is probably the last person in England unaware of the difficulty of getting on the housing ladder and maintaining a huge mortgage, even on two incomes. Sceptics may check the whole article he cites (Daily Telegraph, January 3) and the analysis of the Liverpool Victoria child cost study (November 10), and decide for themselves. The "affordability index" to which Mr Bond refers is, for technical reasons, specifically inappropriate for single-earner families.
Yes, I do research my statistics and, having been professionally concerned with the economics of housing and families for 40 years, I also understand them.
I am more concerned with his view of God's providence. There are certainly times when moral choice requires us to rely on that. But it is not a blank cheque to be used as a substitute for responsible decisions, particularly when they involve others. I share my Catholicity on this matter with Pope Paul VI who cites, in that famous encyclical, economic reasons as a legitimate basis for family limitation.
I champion large families and I have written so in several Charterhouse columns, of which the following is an example: "Catholics [should] speak out loudly and clearly about the fruitfulness of large families, suiting their actions to their words."
Yours faithfully, QUENTIN DE LA BEDOYERE London SW19