Just a short one today, because for once, I honestly don’t know what to think.
I read THIS article in The Mirror today (yes I get The Mirror, please don’t immediately disregard everything I say). For those of you who don’t want to read the article; Mr Cameron is proposing that benefits for families with more than two children should be curbed. There’s no indication of how it’ll work, but the basic premise is to punish big families on welfare and thereby encourage smaller families. That’s what I got anyway.
Naturally, it’s caused a bit of an uproar.... in The Mirror at least.
The problem is, despite hating the Conservatives pretty much on principal (an illogical, emotionally driven hate which I understand has little reasonable backing, but some things don’t change) is that I can kind of see his point. Bare with me a second here.
1. People do take advantage of the system, using the benefits they get from their children to live as good a lives as those who work hard for a living. Even The Mirror tends to target these kinds of people, branding them as drains on society. Now naturally Cameron’s plans would stop this abuse.
2. The Tories are doing this to slash £10billion off the welfare fund. £10billion. That’s a hell of a lot of money. We can put it in the NHS! (Not that they will. Has anyone ever noticed the government money just seems to get... lost? Or am I just paranoid?)
I said I don’t know what to think. Aside from a healthy bit of suspicion of all the Tories do, I’ve also noticed some flaws in their plan...
1. What do you do with people currently with 8 kids and on benefits? The plan works only on new families, not on those already (ab)using the system. What do you do? Remove the children, put them into foster care? Let the parents pick their two favourites? The other option is to make one rule for current families and another rule for new families. I think you can see where that might go wrong.
2. What about people who have been made redundant? Imagine the scenario. Bob and Jane have three children, and both Bob and Jane are in pretty well paid jobs, so they felt safe that they could indeed have three children and support them. Suddenly, they are both made redundant, and have to go on benefits. Suddenly having three children makes them a drain on society and they are punished for it, even though they have been working all their life. Seems a bit unfair to me.
I said I’d keep it short. I think I have. Like I said, I don’t know what to think about this. On the face of it, the Tories have actually produced a sound, if nasty, plan. But whether it’d work in practice? I’ll leave that for you to decide.