So. David Cameron has announced today that he wants parents will have their Child Benefit reduced if their child truants from school.
Tax credits for low paid working adults are going to be cut. Welfare benefits for disabled people have already been cut. We were told yesterday that the Tax Payers Alliance want benefits for older people to be cut as soon as possible. Now we are told that Child Benefit is going to be cut too.
OK, this particular cut is only for parents whose children truant but it’s still a cut.
If a child is not going to school it must be the parent’s fault. That’s what Mr Cameron is saying. If it’s the parent’s fault, punish the parent. No asking why it’s happening, why the child is not going to school. No questions about if there an underlying problem, just cut, cut, cut.
It’s not that simple Mr Cameron. Children truant for a variety of reasons and it’s not always the parents fault. It’s not always something that a parent can do anything about. It’s not always something that a parent even knows is happening. No-one seems to be asking why. but they are still going to be punished. There has been no mention of the need to be looking at the reasons why children don’t want to go to school, the focus seems to be entirely on punishment.
So. What should these questions be? What should be asked? How about these. Is there something wrong at home? Is the child having to provide care for a disabled member of the family? Is the child being bullied at school? Is there an underlying health issue such as dyslexia or dyspraxia or autism? Has there been an unresolved family emergency? I know that these questions do get asked in some cases but not every time.
And that’s wrong.
This Government needs to understand that there need to be far fewer punishments and far more questions asked about why things are happening. This government seems to think that cuts and punishments are the answer to everything.
Look at what happens to people receiving Welfare Benefits. Claimants are being punished all the time. Claimants are being sanctioned for the slightest thing. Late at the job centre to sign on because the bus was delayed? Benefits cut. Got a job interview so an appointment with the adviser was missed? Benefits cut. Called in for an emergency medical appointment at the hospital so, even though a phone call was made to change a sign on time, that call has not been recorded and a sign on time was missed? Benefits cut. No questions asked, just cuts.
I don’t think it’s going to stop any time soon and that’s wrong.
If you think about it cut after cut seems to be the Conservatives, not so subtle, way of trying to control us all. What they are seem to be doing is attempting to get us all to act exactly as they want. They seem to want to make it so we have no other option but to do what they say.
And, how are they doing this? Through cuts to everything, that’s how. By reducing our opportunities. By reducing our income. By reducing our family’s income. Not their income, not their opportunities, no, our income, our opportunities. The less wealthy members of society. Us.
This needs to stop.
This needs to stop now, before it’s too late.
There must be no more cuts. We can’t survive many more. Cutting everything is not the answer. Punishment is not the answer.
Rather than punishing people again and again this Government needs to start asking questions about why things are not going the way they want. This Government needs to stop assuming they know the answer to everything. This Government needs to stand back and think again. And this time they need to get it right because, if they don’t, we are all going to suffer even more than we are suffering already. Leave us with something Mr Cameron, slow down and stop cutting everything. We can’t take it any longer.