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Live webchat with Cristina Odone (Friday 23 Oct), 1-2pm

(126 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 22-Oct-09 13:10:07

We're delighted to announce that Cristina Odone is joining us for a webchat tomorrow lunchtime (Friday 23 Oct, 1-2pm).

Cristina has just written a paper for the Centre for Policy Studies (Tory thinktank) called What Women Want.. And How They Can Get It. In it, she argues that the Government needs to stop encouraging women/mothers back to full-time work because most of us don't want to commit to a full-time job.

In her conclusion, she says: "... we need to break the stranglehold that a small coterie of women who work fulltime and buy into the macho way of life, enjoy on our public life. They have, for years, misrepresented real women who reject the masculine value system for one that rates caring above a career, and inter-dependence above independence."

Some of you have already been discussing her views on this thread and you can download the full paper here.

Cristina is a writer, broadcaster and journalist - she was editor of the Catholic Herald and deputy editor of the New Statesman - and a mother.

If you can't join us tomorrow for the chat, please post your advance questions here.

blueshoes Sat 24-Oct-09 21:57:10

Missed her too! grin

Everything morningpaper said, except on anglo-catholicism of which I hold no views.

VulpusinaWilfsuit Fri 23-Oct-09 19:42:52

Good grief. I have just scanned the actual report, and will read it more fully at some point. Never has the research in my neck of the woods been so woefully misrepresented.

And the awful irony of the report is that there is some mileage in the basic idea that supporting women's need to care for their families properly is a good thing. But the extrapolation here is a farce.

And what MP said about the poor questioning.

And a woeful misinterpretation of what Giddens is saying.

And deluded that Human Ecology is the same as Sociology.

And she implicates MN, suggesting 'we' (with Alphamummy) have a position that defines SAHMs as 'smug': did you notice?

And a whole load of other nonsense. God, I can't even be bothered with it...

SorciereAnna Fri 23-Oct-09 17:56:29

Penthesileia - you raise a good point about tax allowances and the "unfairness" to couples where both adults work. Here in France just that problem arises: married couples are taxed jointly and the marginal income generated by second earners is severely eroded by the fact that they have no new allowances to offset against taxation on their second income - and they are taxed at their partner's marginal rate. I know many high-earning women here whose take-home salary barely covers their work outgoings (clothing and domestic help) while their employers are actually paying out a great deal of money to employ them, thereby creating a huge mismatch between what employers feel entitled to demand of employees and what employees feel they need to contribute.

Shanster Fri 23-Oct-09 17:35:56

fab post morning paper

ProfessorLaytonIsMyZombieSlave Fri 23-Oct-09 15:20:08

No, you wouldn't be. If your DP registered, and you had another SAHP friend who registered, and you swapped and looked after each other's children, then you'd be eligible. But not for looking after your own.

LeninGhoul Fri 23-Oct-09 14:55:47

I think I looked into it and it had to be for registered childcare. I even looked at DP registering but I still don't think we were eligible. Will check again.

OrmIrian Fri 23-Oct-09 14:39:56

Dammit! Missed her !

grin

Penthesileia Fri 23-Oct-09 14:25:46

Qu - Lenin... Assuming you work in a place which offers vouchers, presumably you are still able to claim them, even if your DP is a SAHM?

Penthesileia Fri 23-Oct-09 14:20:02

Yes, some people benefit from childcare vouchers (though not all, of course). And that's the nub of it.

If childcare vouchers (soon to be a thing of the past anyway) were compulsory across the board, then yes, it would make sense to offer the same tax relief (ie. on £486 per month) to the working partner of a SAHP.

But childcare vouchers are/were sadly not universal.

LeninGhoul Fri 23-Oct-09 14:15:55

Agree, but we're expected to get by as a family and there is no help or support for one to stay at home and care for kids whereas others at work can claim childcare vouchers etc.

I don't really care, we've budgeted in order to do this (and made sacrifices that friends with two working haven't had to but that's our choice) but it seems unfair that she can't have some vouchers too but I could claim them if I sent the kids to other carers. Or something, could be talking bollocks as haven't had to claim.

Penthesileia Fri 23-Oct-09 14:12:09

The "problem" with transferring tax allowance to the working partner is that it is - in some respects - unfair on those couples who choose - or are forced - both to work.

Imagine if, in your workplace, you were paying less tax because your DP chose/was able not to work in order to look after your kids; while another person in your workplace pays more tax than you because their partner chooses/has to work.

In fact, talking about tax allowance at all is really only meaningful if you're paying tax. Which the partner not working isn't.

LeninGhoul Fri 23-Oct-09 14:07:33

Cheerio!

BTW, she can't claim IS for being at home either because she's in a relationship (with me who does work FT when not on mat leave) and although she's a carer, she's a carer of children and they don't count.

We can't even use her personal tax allowance as a family allowance which would at least acknowledge her existence in the system.

Well that was fun - so glad that today was the day I had holiday booked from my rewarding job to look after my rewarding children grin

CristinaOdone Fri 23-Oct-09 14:05:16

smile

Penthesileia Fri 23-Oct-09 14:04:29

Ciao ciao. Good luck with the flooring! smile

CristinaOdone Fri 23-Oct-09 14:03:24

Cheap vinyl may well be the answer! I really enjoyed this.... thank you ! (...off to gargle)

morningpaper Fri 23-Oct-09 14:02:47

> I very much doubt our nation is overflowing with women desperate to work and look after each other's kids.

<shudder> you are right about that! grin

LeninGhoul Fri 23-Oct-09 14:02:28

Just to be clear, those two criteria mean you make yourself ineligible for JSA.

morningpaper Fri 23-Oct-09 14:01:48

Can't she just put some cheap vinyl down and stay here a bit longer?

This has been fun - Cristina thanks very much, I'm sure we'll keep an eye out for your work in the future.

(And, you know, being received into the Anglican church isn't settling for second-best, seriously, it's really just a more merciful place. Promise. x)

Penthesileia Fri 23-Oct-09 14:01:44

Besides, apart from the chattering classes bigging-up women in work, couldn't we rather see the government's efforts the other way round, ie. that they are trying to address the difficulty women have in entering the workplace. Their actions are not targeted - as the rhetoric of your report sometimes suggests - at disadvantaging or diminishing SAHPs, etc., but rather at trying to redress centuries of sexism in the workplace. Quite a different matter.

If, on the other hand, the report had focussed more on why the roles men take in society make it impossible for women to get what they want (rather than "The Government"), then I might've agreed more.

If more men agitated for flexible working, etc., and volunteered to take care of their children, etc. then the discussion would look very different, I think.

LeninGhoul Fri 23-Oct-09 14:01:39

Ah but DP left work voluntarily to look after our kids and isn't available to work because she's, erm, looking after our kids.

If we want to attach value to that and really offer carers of children choices we have to pay them. But we don't want to so that's the end of that.

Thanks for chatting directly though, it's always good to engage.

InmyheadIminParis Fri 23-Oct-09 14:01:33

It's been interesting. Thanks for coming!

LeninGhoul Fri 23-Oct-09 13:59:35

Lol mp! I'd be a lazy arse given the chance but the kids and pesky work keep me on my toes.

This all sounds great if you've got a DP who can provide for the household financially. For us, that's me. What happens when I don't want to do this anymore?

CristinaOdone Fri 23-Oct-09 13:58:21

LeninGhoul as things stand if you go out to work and your DP stays at home to care for kids, the only way he gets money from the state is if he claims unemployment benefits...

Penthesileia Fri 23-Oct-09 13:58:06

What morningpaper said.

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