Helen Fagan: What I wrote to the Conservative candidate in my area about family life

Posted in: Your Views: What Parents Say
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One mum writes to the prospective Conservative candidate in her constituency:

filed March 15th 2015

How lovely it was to receive your campaign magazine today featuring yourself clutching your two beautiful children.  How ironic then that the Conservative party should so undervalue those that give their own children the best possible start in life by choosing to care for them themselves rather than shovelling them into childcare/breakfast clubs/afterschool clubs and now schools that take children from birth.

The choice to look after your own child is rarely without financial sacrifices (just to give you an idea, our car is 16 years old and we eat an awful lot of mince) but the benefits to child and society have been proved time and time again.

Yet all your party are interested in doing is pushing more and more mothers out to work and have us pay for someone to care for our children. Further, you now want to take away Tax Credits for hard- working families unless both parents are working.  This so clearly shows either how out of touch your party is or that you are being deliberately obtuse.  Please explain to me where these jobs are that are between school hours, allow you time off for weeks in the school holidays and let you stay at home at the drop of a hat when your child is ill. Also Tax Credits are not a ‘Benefit’ they are tiny (but important to those on a limited income)tax break for those who already work, in my husbands case 8 long manual hours a day, not including his commute.

I do not judge other parents who wish to work or those who really do have not choice and I do not expect to be treated better. What I do expect, is a level playing field.  Everything is stacked against those who want to bring up their own children rather than pay someone else to do it for them and I find it deeply ironic that a party who always used to be banging on about Family Values and The Big Society can be so dismissive and un-supporting of those who, for the most part, are putting family before material gain.

I would have written this letter to the Prime Minister but as I understand it he has already received several like this in a similar vein and merely sends a standard ‘I’ve not really read your letter but will take your views into consideration’ response, if indeed he sends one at all. 

Also I do realise that Nick Clegg is just as keen to dish out childcare vouchers but as the Lib Dems do not appear to wish to take away our Tax Credits at the moment I anticipate my family voting for them unless someone more promising appears on the electoral scene. Forcing more parents onto the job scene will not solve any economic problems, it merely make’s the figures look better, a fact that I am sure all political parties are aware of although they would appear to think that the voters haven’t quite grasped it yet.

Many thanks for taking the time to read this (if you did)

Best Regards

Helen Fagan

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