to think that when there is a schools place crisis perhaps the government should think of ways to reduce birth rates?

(648 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

jellysandwich Wed 04-Sep-13 10:27:30

In my area (London) there is already a huge shortfall in places because there has been a baby boom. They are constantly opening new schools or creating bulge classes but this is often at the expense of other children who lose their playing fields and there is just not enough room in London to keep opening new schools and there is already a housing crisis because the country is so overcrowded.

I think perhaps it is time the government thought about limiting child related benefits to 2 children (which is the replacement rate) and those that want to have more can do so but not with taxpayers money. It would go some way to stopping some of the problems that rising birthrates create such as the school places crisis, overcrowding, pollution, increasing struggles for resources such as food and water and in an already overpopulated world I think the government is being negligent in not putting some sort of limit on child related benefits, especially when it seems to be counter-intuitive (if you work you don't get more money each time you have another child).

filee777 Thu 05-Sep-13 11:40:03

That link does not include tax credits, which are a huge part of this debate.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 05-Sep-13 11:41:07

As an adopted person some of the comments here have really upset me and I am not usually an overly emotional person.
The attitudes of some people towards adoption and fostering are disgusting.
It is the child who is supposed to come first, the best interests of the child.
This does not involve growing up in the knowledge that you were adopted because society saw it as a way of controlling the population.
Can you not see that attitudes evolve and the next thing would be to suggest that children whose parents couldn't afford to raise them had them adopted.
As a society we have been here before when unmarried mothers were forced to give up their children.
The attitudes of some here are just the beginning.
I have flash backs quite regularly now because as an adult I know what I witnessed as a child. It wasn't abuse or anything bad really.
I went with my parents to a children's home, it was a huge building with lots of dormitories full of babies, many hundreds, very stark and noisy, all only weeks old. I didn't know at the time what it was, but it is so vivid in my memory.
My life has been good compared to children in the system now, but the thought of my beginnings and the reason for my adoption is baggage enough.
I never got to meet my birth mother, she died very young and never did get over it.
Can we as a society even begin to think along these lines again.
Finally, as an adopted person I was recently asked to sit on panels for prospective adopters. I have been debating whether I would be good enough to give justice to the many nice parents wanting to adopt, and worried if I made a mistake of the consequences.
The attitudes here have given me the confidence in my ability to do a good job here, because under no circumstances could I agree with some of the comments here.

MrsDeVere, I salute you. You sound a lovely person thanks

mrsfuzzy Thu 05-Sep-13 11:49:41

frigging and jake, whatever a persons background, contraception has been invented, there are so many types available nowadays what is the excuse? she told me that by having regular pregnancies she would keep her benefits going for years upon years, as someone said these feckle types are not very common but they are having the next generation who are being introduced to the world owns me a living types, who if they don't break the pattern the cycle will repeat itself.

FrigginRexManningDay Thu 05-Sep-13 11:51:08

People are making themselves poor? Really? Poor people do not have much choice about their children's education or where they live. More likely to end up on sink estates with a less than adequate education,everything around them bleak. So they have children,often young because that's all they see around them. Generations doing the same things because instead of improving things around them as children's they were told to have ambition without any examples.
I think a lot of people grew up away from tower blocks and beans on toast for dinner and getting dressed for school under the covers cause you could see your breath. It kills your spirit.

Loa Thu 05-Sep-13 11:53:13

unemployed people have similar numbers of children to employed people ... it is not clear at all that benefits are a significant incentive to have children

That what I see around me - socially deprived area with mix of claimers, lower wage earners and some middle class families - yet no one on here ever believes that.

I just don't get all this talk of DC being cash cows - they seriously cost us and have a good income.

www.cpag.org.uk/content/cpag-publish-cost-child-2013
A new report published today by Child Poverty Action Group, with co-funding from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, has found that the minimum costs needed for a decent childhood have risen 4% in the last year.

This compares with rises of just 1.8% for the minimum wage, 1.5% for average earnings, 1% for tax credits and 0% for child benefit.

Childhood poverty impacts health and as we have an NHS that means more health costs funded by taxation and lower education levels - which will eventually impact the county economy.

MrsDeVere Thu 05-Sep-13 12:13:01

morethan I am a proper hardarse and your post made me well up.

You have said what I was trying to say and you said it so much better than I could have.
Thank you.

I am not at all lovely to be honest. I struggle to find the right way to do things.

I don't get it right all the time and I don't think adoptive parents should be perfect.

But they need to at least try to understand and that is what I see lacking in some of these posts.

Please do go for the panel place. They really, really need the views of adopted people on them. I am sure you would be brilliant.

alemci Thu 05-Sep-13 12:18:25

Frigging isn't that a bit defeatist. I think people can break the cycle. My parents were both 'poor' and my dad grew up on a dodgy estate in the 50's. It depends on the parents I suppose.

my maternal grandmother was very pro education and she worked as a nurse when alot of married woman didn't. I know this was another era.

alot of immigrants started off poor but became successful and prosperous.

Dackyduddles Thu 05-Sep-13 12:21:42

Thus far every suggestion appears to intimate that WOMEN find the answer or are in fact the answer on as much as contraception/stopping benefits/lack of adoption.

Why has none of the more robust posters mentioned men? Shall we chop the balls off every second boy in multiple boy families? Cull boys at foetus stage? Any other ideas? Take all money off feckless dads of multiple mothers?

It's quite funny to read but what's rather scary is this thread are voting too! Lordy! Last one off the island please turn out the lights.....

MrsDeVere Thu 05-Sep-13 12:22:27

No one said it is a bad thing filee

And you miss the point.

We are not talking about a hatred of drugs. We are talking about a questionable attitude to the undeserving poor. You take on a child you take on their history. It is part of them and should never be denied. You have to find something to celebrate, however hard that might seem.

My analogy of a racist caring for a black child is nearer the mark.

How can someone who has a fundamental dislike and distrust of a section of society offer a home to a child who comes from that background?

Being able to fulfill your maternal longings is lovely and a wonderful part of being a parent whatever route you take but 'offering a child a loving home' can NOT be an 'as well as'. It has to be the core, the very point, not an add on.

littlemog Thu 05-Sep-13 12:31:26

littlemog - I don't recall saying that having as many children as you want was a right
Dahlen I didn't say that you did - not sure why you have picked me up on that. It's just my viewpoint.

But it remains the case that only a small number of high-flying career women choose to remain childless completely
I prefer the term childfree as childless implies that I am somehow lacking in something.

And I was adopted at 6 weeks old and none of the stuff posted on here about adoption has upset me a jot. People have their opinions and they are entitled to express them robustly.

mrsfuzzy Thu 05-Sep-13 12:32:17

dacky, men are able to use contraception just as much as women are it 's just some choose not to but it is women who get pregnant not men so as modern women we are more than capable of sorting it out for ourselves if we do not want children.

Loa Thu 05-Sep-13 12:41:52

Thus far every suggestion appears to intimate that WOMEN find the answer or are in fact the answer on as much as contraception/stopping benefits/lack of adoption.

The birth rate isn't above the 2.1 replacement level and the slight increase in the birth rate - foreseeable as the grandchildren of baby boomers get created - occurred 4/5 years ago giving those years to plan to create more school places.

The only women who needed to find the answers - were the ones in local and national government who along with their male colleagues should have done their jobs and done the planning of services for the population.

It's not a case of too many DC - it's a case of too few school places mainly because in the proceeding decade the was a drop in DC numbers and to save money the excess places were got rid of. No one has then done the spending of money subsequently to get back to the proceeding school place numbers.

This is not parents fault - but they and the DC are the ones having to deal with the conquences.

Lilka Thu 05-Sep-13 12:47:37

As an adoptive mum, I couldn't agree more with MrsDV and more There's nothing more I can say that hasn't been so eloquently said by them

My eldest child (whom I adopted) has just had her second child, and I know that she and her (working) husband are going to have more in future. Her experience of being fostered and adopted and in the process split up from all her siblings is a big driving force for her in wanting a big family. And her husband comes from a big family and a culture of bigger families as well. I am very happy and supportive of them, but Goodness knows what our relationship would be like if I was so stupid and rude as to sit there casting judgement on her family choices, which are largely influenced by adoption and not having lots of biological relatives around, and also by her experiences before adoption. That would be a humungous wedge in our lovely relationship. What a good thing I didn't adopt in order to save the planet! Otherwise I'd be questionning what the point of doing that is

Anyway...when it comes to the statistics, I was under the impression that less women are having children and that overall the fertility rate is under replacement rate right now. Staying that way means that in the future we will have not enough workforce to support the number of retired people. So then what's the answer - trying to encourage a very large immigrant workforce in is probably the only way round it, but you've just taken that workforce away from somewhere else. Also as shown by other posters, it's a myth that people on benefits are more likely to have a massive family

morethanpotatoprints Thu 05-Sep-13 12:50:21

filee

Its like this I think.
Unless the child has been removed from their parents at birth. i.e a known drug addict, the child will have an attachment with their parent(s)
To deny this child their background is wrong, to have conceived ideas about their parents will not be a positive influence on them when they have contact with their parent.
Just because you are adopted doesn't mean you have no contact with your birth parents, especially in this day and age where most children in the system have lived with their parents, sometimes for a considerable amount of time.
How could you positively prepare a child when you despise their parents so much. If you are incapable of empathy and keeping an open mind imo you shouldn't be approved for adoption.
This isn't personal to you, I am sure a sw would tell you this.

littlemog Thu 05-Sep-13 12:52:11

* Staying that way means that in the future we will have not enough workforce to support the number of retired people*
Pretty sure that this is nonsense.

And I think that that the statistics show that fewer educated women are having children - not just fewer women.

FrigginRexManningDay Thu 05-Sep-13 12:57:09

Its not defeatist,I am in no way condemning people to such a life. Many people come from poverty and prosper. When we start cutting benefits for an example family of a mother of three,parenting alone. Three children,less money. Less food,less heat,less electricity. Children miss school because their uniform is not clean. They go to school hungry. They leave school early to get a job. Lack of qualifications mean a minimum wage job. Its the cycle. The poverty trap.
Another baby is not such a travesty because life is bleak and a baby brings joy. Being a mother is sometimes all the girls and women know. Being a mother gives them purpose. I can't explain it properly,I lived and continue to live it. I'm in HA housing,teenage mother,now married,husband on low industrial wage,me no qualifications,sparse education.

littlemog Thu 05-Sep-13 12:59:26

Well that's no reason to bring a baby in to the world though is it? Because it cheers up someone who has a hard life? It IS a travesty in that situation.

mrsfuzzy Thu 05-Sep-13 13:00:04

seriously look at the state of the world, who wants to think about the potential problems that our children and their kids could face in the future, possible high unemployment, lack of housing, world problems etc the list goes on, things have changed dramatically over the years and not always for the best.

littlemog Thu 05-Sep-13 13:03:34

This is one of the many reasons we chose not to have children. The planet is pretty fucked tbh and overpopulation is the biggest issue.

FrigginRexManningDay Thu 05-Sep-13 13:06:00

Where did I say that people have babies to cheer themselves up? What I said is they bring joy. Or should poor people live miserable joyless,one child lives.

Dahlen Thu 05-Sep-13 13:10:00

I have fostered. I 'disapproved' of the mother's lifestyle enormously. I also felt a great deal of compassion towards her. The bad choices she made didn't take place in a vacuum. She was a hurt human being who was expressing that hurt in a completely dysfunctional way that was in turn hurting her child. Hence my involvement.

That child was too young for me to need to explain about her mother. However, I had it all prepared in readiness because it is vital that you can explain without judgement. It's not that dissimilar to when parents split up and they have to explain why that has happened without making the child think it's their fault.

Every child, perhaps moreso if adopted/fostered, wants to know where they come from. If you badmouth the parent, you are, essentially, encouraging a child to think that they are the same, since they are a product of that parent.

It is far better to remain neutral, or, if at all possible, find something positive about that parent's personality/abilities, even if in some harrowing cases it's just that they had a good sense of humour or were good at drawing. You talk about the parent's dysfunctional lifestyles or poor parenting in terms of choices (so that the child doesn't feel it is inevitable that they will be the same) but explain how those choices can be affected by experience (e.g. brought up by abusive parents) and sometimes just sheer random bad luck (e.g. accident or illness).

I think the best analogy for this is like making a cake. Sometimes the ingredients (intelligence, wit, sense of fun, ability at drawing, etc) can be of the highest quality. But if the recipe (life) isn't put together well, you can sometimes end up with a mess.

mrsfuzzy Thu 05-Sep-13 13:12:12

thank you littlemog, i sometimes think i'm a lone voice in the wilderness on the subject of the future, it's all very well taking the attitude ' it won't happen and who cares if it does, i won't be here to see it' but that's so wrong things are happening, we are racing forwards to god knows what, i find that terrifying that my dc and millions of others are going to inherit this shit. people ignore these things and hope they will never happen, it might help if i believed in a here after but i don't.

Hedgehogparty Thu 05-Sep-13 13:32:13

The schools place crisis is only one aspect of this issue.
Last year the Uk population increased by around 400,000 by natural increase and net migration.

Putting the benefits issue to one side, does anyone here seriously think we need or ought to be increasing our population further?

Where I live, you can see the effect of population growth everywhere.
More houses-but still nowhere near enough. Green fields disappearing, losing crop growing areas and places to enjoy. Constant traffic congestion.More pollution.

I want my DCs to have a decent standard and quality of life.
We should be addressing this issue.

forevergreek Thu 05-Sep-13 13:42:07

Actually the one child policy in china does have many good points to it. However the main problem there is that they chose 1 not 2 children, meaning people preferring boys to girls as only one baby allowed. This wouldn't be the case with 2. The one child policy is also only in cities, in the country it's 2, so they could theretically move I the countryside if they wanted 2. Multiples and certain religions are exempt. Even in china you can hae 8 children if you like but then you simply jave no support, so a choice is still there.I'm not saying it doesn't have faults but things the did are:

- huge incentives for first child. Ie childcare costing say £100 a month instead of £1000. So have one child, only pay £100. The thing is if you choose I have 2 you also have to pay back all the difference with first child. So £900 per month that you didn't pay the last 3 years would then need paying. Ie ( 900x12) x3. Plus from then on £2000 a month for both children.

The same applies to Heath care, etc etc

If the uk had a similar scheme for 2. In that with 2 children you get reduced childcare, good packages for 2 ie swim tickets/ clothing/ education etc then it really would be an incentive. People could choose to pay £200 each child for childcare with 2, or £1000 per child if 3.

It's harsh, life is. But people can't simply choose what they always want without Thought of others now and in the future.

We work, have 2 children. And can afford 2 children. We couldn't afford to have 3 and live the same life. So even if we wanted more we wouldn't.

With 2 children households there would be more money to help people when needed. So you work and have 2 children then lawr loose your job, then the government can afford to really help you find work/ provide money and support. If people have more this is only going to decrease and make the problem worse as everyone will end up below poverty line

alemci Thu 05-Sep-13 13:42:26

I totally agree hedge.

its not going to get any better in 2014. the successive governments don't listen or care.

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