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Cameron advisor recommends abolishing maternity benefits

(35 Posts)
Xiaoxiong Thu 28-Jul-11 11:10:20

I'm shocked that this could even be floated as a "blue sky thinking" idea - not to reduce, not to reform, but to completely suspend any requirement for companies to offer maternity benefits.

Considering that one of the biggest obstacles to hiring is finding people with the right skills, and coming hot on the heels of the thread that's been active around here for a few days about the legions of highly qualified women that aren't using their qualifications, if anything maternity benefits and support for women once they've had children should be beefed up, not slashed.

What do people think?

Xiaoxiong Thu 28-Jul-11 11:11:51

Found the link to the thread I mentioned:

lubeybooby Thu 28-Jul-11 11:14:37

Oh. Well clearly we must all just stay in the kitchen and not get any silly ideas about work or paying our mortgages or anything, or education and qualifications in the first place.

EightiesChick Thu 28-Jul-11 11:15:56

I have not long posted a thread on this in Politics. Agree it is shocking to even suggest it. On the other thread it was suggested that it couldn't go ahead because women voters would be totally alienated - IO hope so but it is worrying.

lubeybooby Thu 28-Jul-11 11:16:26

The story won't load by the way just the headline for some reason

LoveBeingAtHomeOnMyOwn Thu 28-Jul-11 11:17:32

Or it's been put out there for cameron to come out and look to save it as positive pr.

Anniegetyourgun Thu 28-Jul-11 11:18:50

"it was suggested that it couldn't go ahead because women voters would be totally alienated"

It would be nice to think that wasn't the only reason.

Xiaoxiong Thu 28-Jul-11 11:20:14

Whoops sorry, saw it on the front page of the FT this morning but it's being widely reported:,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=4bdb9c942ca5f950&biw=1152&bih=751

Xiaoxiong Thu 28-Jul-11 11:24:27

LoveBeingAtHome, you cynic grin I must admit that was my first thought too - to allow Cameron to demonstrate that the Tory party is no longer the "nasty party".

Surely it wouldn't just be women voters who would be alienated - I just got a text from DH howling with rage about this, we would be sunk if I had to take unpaid leave and we were surviving on DH's salary alone just because we had a baby, and we are very comfortable and lucky with savings etc.

EightiesChick Thu 28-Jul-11 11:24:41

Here it is in the Guardian

Annie I agree, but that's the point as it was made, and it might be the kind of thing a Tory strategy committee would worry about more than, well, being unfair and wrong.

ragged Thu 28-Jul-11 11:25:21

Didn't same guy suggest abolishing all consumer rights? Right Milton Friedman thinker. Can't take seriously.

JarethTheGoblinKing Thu 28-Jul-11 11:29:08

Was just about to come and post this link.. Does anybody actually this this is a possibility? confused

LoveBeingAtHomeOnMyOwn Thu 28-Jul-11 11:29:14

Either that or a way to get us back to work and create new jobs ie childminders/nursery hmm

Xiaoxiong Thu 28-Jul-11 11:29:50

Same guy I believe. Completely agree that he should not be taken seriously - but he is Cameron's director of strategy.

Xiaoxiong Thu 28-Jul-11 11:31:06

I can't believe this is a real possibility - but why would anyone keep someone around who would float this, even as a "blue sky thinking" kind of idea?? It's not blue sky thinking - it's misogynistic trollery.

MrsKwazii Thu 28-Jul-11 11:33:46

I saw the Guardian piece and was gobsmacked. I think (hope) though that this really is just a case of 'thinking the unthinkable' and throwing any and every idea into the pot for consideration. Can't see that it would really be a possibility, it would be against so many laws and create a massive backlash.

LilyBolero Thu 28-Jul-11 11:35:10

I don't agree with this at all, but I can see where it has come from - it is taking the idea that employers may hesitate to employ a woman, because they may have a baby, and then all the maternity leave comes into play, so perhaps the employer would opt not to employ one.

It's the same thinking that says someone who has a disability should be prepared to work for below minimum wage, to make themselves more 'employable' (that was another 'blue sky thinking' thought that emerged recently).

But it's daft. It's the ultimate 'market forces' argument, but even life-long right-wingers (eg Charles Moore) are now accepting that the free market model doesn't work, as it benefits only the top few people, and everyone else is poorer as a result. An injection of socialism is needed to ensure some humanity.

Quodlibet Thu 28-Jul-11 11:37:51

I've got to say my cynical brain says it's all part of an ideology which looks to solve the unemployment problem by winding the clock back 60 years and getting women to give up work. The working woman has been penalised in all sorts of ways since these fuckers got in.

CaptainNancy Thu 28-Jul-11 11:47:12

Thread running in politics too

Empusa Thu 28-Jul-11 19:11:19

As I wrote in the other thread

Govt - We shall do this ludicrous thing that any sane person would object to!
Public - No you wont, we wont let you!
Govt - With further consideration, and after listening to the views of the public whom we value so highly, we've changed our minds.
Public - Oh, we are so lucky that our govt listens to us!

Callisto Thu 28-Jul-11 20:09:51

Surely the point of blue sky thinking is to throw every single idea, no matter how ludicrous or offensive, into the collective pot and see what comes out? No doubt this is the usual 'he said, she said' BS that is only being reported because there is feck all else to use as a filler.

And I can hardly see any man under the age of 50 thinking that this is a good idea anyway.

Quodlibet - I'm a working woman so could you please point out the ways in which I've been penalised since these 'fuckers' got in? Because as a working person I felt much more penalised by the last lot of fuckers.

edam Thu 28-Jul-11 20:19:06

This is the same berk who apparently asked why the prime minister had to obey the law, right?

Not so much blue sky thinking as blue baboon's arse thinking IMO.

Quodlibet Fri 29-Jul-11 09:38:23

Callisto - certainly:

"Women already earn less, own less, and have less control over their finances than men. Yet some £5.8 billion of the £8 billion of cuts contained in the budget will be taken from women, who will also be worst affected by the coming cuts to public services"

I couldn't possibly say, not knowing anything about your financial situation, how you personally have been affected - but frankly it does concern me more that a gender as a whole is made worse off by a budget than whether you as an individual feel personally penalised.

Callisto Fri 29-Jul-11 09:59:08

Can you perhaps back this statement up? It is completely meaningless without an actual analysis of how they came up with the £5.8 billion out of £8 billion cuts directly affecting women, and the publication isn't exactly without bias.

Xiaoxiong Fri 29-Jul-11 10:29:47

Callisto even with blue sky thinking including "ludicrous and offensive" ideas, there are definitely proposals that are beyond the pale. I doubt this guy would be able to get away with proposing excluding everyone who wasn't ethnically British from jobs and claiming it was just a blue sky thinking idea.

I guess it's just depressing that something as fundamental as the availability of maternity leave and benefits - not even just reducing them on the basis of budgetary constraints, but suspending them entirely - is not yet far enough beyond the pale that it could actually be suggested by the PM's director of strategy in an official capacity.

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