I feel equal rights has stretched too far in many laws. I am of the opinion that families who never really applied themselves are made equal through a variety of different benefits and schemes. This ranges from tax credits that bring their earnings more in line with the average wage through to other benefits and perks like free computers and broadband, right to buy their council owned properties, reduced council tax and a whole host of things. This leaves the middle of the road manager that tried hard all his life no better off!
The one that really really pains me and Im sure would most working parents if it were more transparent is the Child Trust Fund Voucher. I had my first child when I was 35 years as I didnt feel financially secure enough before this. My child was provided with a trust fund voucher of £250.00 – This I personally felt was a bit strange but I thought "Well if thats what everyone gets, why not!" I was left fuming when I found that had I been on a low income and receiving benefits I would get double!!!! How on earth can this be fair. Surely to create this ethos of work being rewarded it would have been fair to say that all those that work hard for a living receive double and those that dont receive half! (My own honest opinion should be that no child gets anything including child benefit. If you are unable to support a child, dont bring one into this world!. Where do people get this mentality that they have some right to be supported having children they just cant afford. I appreciate life can deal incidents and accidents beyond your own control and of course these need to be treated differently.
It is difficult not to digress but I wish to explain my mindset to hopefully create a better understanding. I am an identical twin and my brother lives in rented accomodation with 2 of his 3 kids and goes on holiday every year (not the easiest from a transport point of view as he his on his second drink driving ban!) He married around 12 years and during these years has had many volatile arguments including his wife stabbing him requiring hospital treatment. His 35 year old wife has never actually had a full time job in her life having had her 1st child at 17 and then a 2nd child with a different father a couple of years later and then a further 2 children with my brother. These two being 9 and 11 years old – In all the time I have known her she has, at best had a part time job at the local pub! They both smoke and drink and she is a regular daily user of "draw" a drug that smells like burning tyres! My brother has a job working with a number of foreign immigrants packing fruit etc. He finds himself in this situation since losing his £25k per annum surveyors job.
This was purely a result of his drink driving. I go and visit my brother and his family from time to time (More often than not when invited up due to a problem on his computer! This is actually few and far between though now since "The Government" provided him with a computer and free broadband under the "Computers For All Scheme" I did get a call asking if I knew much about boilers as their boiler started playing up (Again this was soon sorted with swift help from the governments warmfront scheme stepping in to provide them with a nice new gas central heating system)
Ultimately it seems if he earns 10k a year and I earn 30k he will get his money made up to about 30k! All in all it makes joe public wonder whether its really worth applying yourself in life.
I have been with my partner now for 15 years and neither of us have claimed any benefits except for being awarded the child benefit all children are entitled to. We recently approached a solicitor due to the fact we have invested in a couple of self build properties that will effective become our pensions and eventually our childrens future. Can you imaging how dismayed we were when advised that because we chose not to get married we will end up around £150,000 worse off!) Why should we have to get married! My own brother marriage and way of living couldnt be much more dysfunctional yet they have more rights than we do. Its simply wrong!
Back to my original rant of the CITB levy. I am in a position where I have had to make a large amount of redundancies and lay offs due to a number of factors beyond my control. It is roughly around the time the CITB got its claws in to my company demanding this levy (This arose from registration on a CSCS Safety Awareness Course I provided to my employees) With all this in mind I have absolutely lost the fight to go on and see this is the nail in the coffin (In many ways a result of principals" I have therefore provided notice to all remaining employees such is my disgust with this unfair levy. It all goes back to the analogy of it not really mattering if you're a company that doesnt bother to invest in training your employess. Ultimately companies like mine will pick up the tab!