I usually steer clear of dipping my toe into the subject of politics, and I may well regret it, but on this occasion I can’t resist. I have to say I was delighted to hear Nick Clegg getting a rollicking from an angry mummy on his live weekly radio phone-in yesterday. The stay at home mum, known only as Laura from East Dulwich, was calling in response to the government’s budget announcement that families with one earner bringing home more than £50,000 a year will lose their child benefit, but extra help with nursery costs will be offered to families where both parents work, bringing home up to £300,000.
‘You probably think what I do is a worthless job’, she told a flustered Clegg. ‘Child benefit was a fair way of recognising everybody’s legitimate choice either to work outside the home or to work inside the home. You’ve essentially abolished that for families like me.’ I couldn’t have put it better myself, and hats off to her.
I’m not knocking the extra help with childcare costs – I know as well as anyone the fees can be crippling – but the proposal seems incredibly unfair and weighted against women – and men – who choose to stay at home and raise their children. At what point did this not become work?
On the upside, Clegg looked like naughty school boy who had been given a good telling off by the end of it. Well done Laura from East Dulwich. With a bit of luck he will go to his room and think about what he’s done.