Wednesday, 4 August 2010

And relax....

Stricken by trench foot we have struck camp, and made for the Cornish cottage where we've stayed for the last ten years. As we rolled off the campsite with 3ft of clobber bungeed onto the roof and boot I cheerfully commented to a silent car, that I for one thought the camping part of our trip was a great success. Why is it being a mother automatically casts you in the role of insanely cheerful narrator? It combines the presentation skills of a children's TV presenter with the selective memory of the village drunk.

Moving a few miles up the coast we are now enjoying hot running water and spectacular views (see above). The kids are giddy with the joy of familarity. As Katie said, she loves it here because nothing changes. Unlike the government, which seems to be in overdrive. I read today about the proposed changes to housing entitlement and benefit which struck me as relatively sensible if they were accompanied by 2 further measures: investment in jobs and affordable childcare. Incentivising people off benefits only works if they have jobs to go to, and women, the disproportionate providers of childcare can only work if they can access childcare that fits around their working day and costs significantly less than they earn after tax.

When I was on the last government's Women's Enterprise Taskforce I went on and on about this, and no one seemed keen. The truth is that affordable childcare has never been addressed in this country and until it is, no matter what you do to people's benefits, women will not be able to work in significant numbers, especially those on low incomes.

1 comment:

  1. What's a fair price for looking after a child? My females say they'd look after a human infant for a pound of green vegetables.