FREE IELTS SAMPLE ESSAYS: Some governments say how many children a family can have in their country. They may control the number of children someone has through taxes. It is sometimes necessary and right for a government to control the population in this way. Do you agree or disagree?

It is certainly very understandable that some governments should start looking at ways of limiting their populations to a sustainable figure. In the past, populations were partly regulated by frequent war and widespread disease, but in recent years the effects of those factors have been diminished. Countries can be faced with a population that is growing much faster than the nation's food resources or employment opportunities and whose members can be condemned to poverty by the need to feed extra mouths. They identify population control as a means of raising living standards.

But how should it be achieved? Clearly, this whole area is a very delicate personal and cultural issue. Many people feel that this is not a matter for the state. They feel this is one area of life where they have the right to make decisions for themselves. For that reason, it would seem that the best approach would be to work by persuasion rather than compulsion. This could be done by a process of education that points out the way a smaller family can mean an improved quality of life for the family members, as well as less strain on the country's perhaps very limited, resources.

This is the preferred way. Of course if this does not succeed within a reasonable time scale, it may be necessary to consider other measures, such as tax incentives or child-benefit payments for small families only. These are midway between persuasion and compulsion

So, yes, it is sometimes necessary, but governments should try very hard to persuade first. They should also remember that this is a very delicate area indeed, and that social engineering can create as many problems as it solves?

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