Sunday, November 30, 2008

How much thought did the LibDems really put into their childcare policy?

Conservatives very much agree that Britain need to be more family-friendly and that creating stronger family units can help to piece back together our broken society - in fact, its been David Cameron thats put these ideas front and centre in British politics. However these latest plans from the LibDems are pie-in-the-sky politics and Nick Clegg - their apparent media-star - go another mauling at the hands of the BBC over it today.

Business people are up in arms about these proposals and they clearly haven't been thought out. We'd all like more time with our kids but how many families could afford both parents on the basic £117 a week allowance? I'd have loved to have taken more time with both of my children but we couldn't afford to do so. Although something has to be done about paternity leave (its currently only 2 weeks), it isn't maternity length thats the problem but the financial impact of it.

Even Nick Clegg, when challenged about it on the BBC, said he couldn't take 7 months paternity leave - its madness. He knows that he could neither afford it, nor could he be sure that his job was still there in 7 months! How would the electors of Sheffield feel about this? Could you imagine the potential chaos in schools, the NHS, small businesses or the police?

Instead we should be looking towards flexible working and better conditions for parents at work, rather than this dogs dinner of a policy. I really do wonder how much thought they actually put into it or if this was rushed out for a headline at a time when they are ignored?

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