I am about to say something in this piece and you are not going to like it. There have been frequent pushes in the last few years for a new fandangled entitlement programme for fathers to take paid leave from their employment on a ‘use or lose it’ basis.
This is where the taxpayer will pay new fathers to stay at home to look after their new child, so their wives can get back to the office where they belong. Such a recommendation was made by the Wimmins and Equality Batty Committee on Tuesday and is a favourite of the leftist utopia Sweden. “The Committee recommended that fathers and second parents should be entitled to three months’ well-paid, non-transferable paternal leave in addition to current parental leave benefits.”
This proposal, being on a use it or lose it basis, would be in addition to the 50 weeks parental leave that is pooled between mother and father under the current entitlement programme. The money for this extra entitlement will come from the magic money tree called the taxpayer.
Now, normally, as you know, I would oppose such a measure on grounds of common sense and conservatism. But then I put my thinking cap on and thought, sod it. We should really support this measure. If the State is going to fund caring for a child at home then who are we to oppose this moral good?
It is true that we cannot as a country actually afford any more entitlements and that it will only add to our national debt that is now approaching £2 trillion; it is true it will add to the huge regulatory burden already placed on businesses; and, it is true that it will lead to a greater administrative state. But why should I care? Why should I stick to my principles purely on grounds of consistency and commons sense?
The lefties are constantly pushing for and securing funding for all their crazy schemes. I reckon if we can get some dosh for a conservative value such as caring for children at home by a parent, then I say let’s do it. If we can subsidise the childcare industry to the tune of £6 billion, then we should also subsidise caring at home.
The truth is we don’t have a small State, and we are light-years away from ever achieving it. So let’s fight the lefties on their own turf. We want more free stuff. It is only fair, after all.