Telegraph 23rd June 2015
Laura Perrins, mother of three and former barrister, contributes to the debate in The Telegraph, speaking out about the importance of the contribution of mothers when they’re busy caring for children. This is about caring and putting children’s needs first during some periods of the family life cycle.
MAHM view: This is about family lives and children’s lives, as well as the vulnerable and the elderly. It should never be about league tables across many cultures where cross-country comparisons are almost impossible, given the different systems for collecting data and also given that people’s lives, homes, work, transport, employment legislation and extended family roles across Europe operate in often very different ways.
What the reports fail to point out is that most countries in Europe treat family care systems far more favourably than in the UK. For example family taxation based on household income and number of dependents and also the cost of home care responsibilities which must be properly recognised, instead of ignored. It’s worth exploring the culture of part time work or flexible working for parents in other countries – and this includes the way employers respect and accommodate family care, recognising that taking good care of employees and respecting family needs is positive for health, wellbeing and productivity.
It’s also worth noting that according to the ONS the level of employment for mothers is not that different from other women without children, suggesting that there are all sorts of situations in life that result in individuals not being economically productive, including personal health, caring for a spouse, studying, companionship for an elderly relative and so on, as well as voluntary work in communities.
Additional comment from a mother, a supporter of Mothers At Home Matter (sent also to No 10):
‘Why are we allowing the UK/EU State to demand care of our small children?’
”The European Union has no right to pressure young mums.This is social engineering which ignores the need to be together of young children and mothers. What sort of society are you trying to force upon us? Certainly not one strengthened and made secure by natural, parental family care.What are the effects on mental and physical health? Note the quote from the European Council about the UK ‘The percentage of women who are inactive or work part-time due to PERSONAL AND FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES (12.5%) was almost twice as high as the EU average (6.3%) in 2013.’ Clearly personal and family responsibilities count for nothing to the great European machine.This is disgraceful and repulsive.I have already left the Conservative Party: it taxes families with 1 working parent more than families with 2 working parents.We have to leave the EU. I worked in Defence of this country for nearly a decade, now 2 of my graduate children have emigrated. Is it any wonder?”
From Linda, Buckinghamshire