Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

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Single Mothers/Single Parents

The following could equally apply to single fathers of course but most often it is single mothers whether through choice or of fathers not having the guts or willingness to shoulder their responsibilities that are the concern of this blog.

I have long pondered the societal problem of young women who find themselves pregnant either deliberately or by ‘accident’ through unprotected sex and when deciding to go ahead and give birth expect society to pick up the bill and pay an enormous cost in welfare benefits for many years. The State provides ‘the morning after pill’ for that moment of panic next day when the thought of what if comes to mind, failing which counselling is available when another choice, again provided freely by the State, of abortion is an option.

If despite those options the decision to continue with the pregnancy is made then we, society at large, will have to support both mother and child for at least 18 years maybe more if the offspring goes to university. We cannot deprive the child of equal opportunity. Single parents usually jump the housing queue which is grossly unfair on those who patiently wait but frankly there is little we can do about that apart from building sufficient homes which successive governments have been unwilling to do but that’s another story. To get pregnant is a fast track to your own home is a well known route for many young women as is not having to bother to get a job for many, many, years. It cannot be right that choosing to have a baby is rewarded with the security to play on Snap chat or Instagram while everyone else is working to pay for it or is actively seeking work.

A possible solution occurred to me recently when feeling disgusted at the fees now charged to university students, why not a similar scheme for single parents? So yes we’ll have to provide a home, yes, we’ll have to financially support the mother and child BUT when the child reaches five years we will expect and demand that the mother seeks at least part time employment and half the earnings will be taken back in extra taxation. At aged eleven we will expect full time working and the same half taken in tax as during this time benefits will continue as before which eliminates a lot of paper work while at the same time providing incentive. When the child or children reach independence then extra tax taken at say, 5% of net income taken for the rest of working life as the hundreds of thousands it has cost is unlikely to ever be repaid in full. Going after fathers who fail to pay is for another time.

I welcome comments and suggestions.



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3 thoughts on “Single Mothers/Single Parents

  1. David Wells on said:

    Nice try.. but no.. if you ( and im not sure how you do) enforce the parent to go to work part time at 5 years old, they will earn very little, this then with your deduction would put the child in to more poverty. same applies for the at 11 year old etc .. once said child has reached independence then of course you could cancel benefits to the parent of tax them higher, but in general the type of person in this situation will only earn l;w wages, so they would be forced into poverty, leading to potential homelessness or crime

    Added to all this, your suggestion may also encourage the young that may choose or “by accident” get pregnant will justify their actions in the belief that at some point they will pay their way, so possibly in a round about way justifying their actions.

    I do not have an answer, apart from perhaps a harsh one that in one hand makes sense but on the other I don’t think I could support .. and that is a firm standing, NO handouts whatsoever, and if the child in question is in poverty then state children’s homes… horrible to think, but perhaps in the long run it may put a stop to people having babies they can not afford to look after. But like I said, it really does not sit comfortably with me …

    • I think you missed my point that when working at child’s age 5 & 11 although the parent would have half earnings taxed ‘the benefits would still be paid in full’ thus giving incentive. How the working requirement could be enforced is probably for another discussion but not impossible.

  2. The Cunning Linguist on said:

    I think you’d need to make the same rules for folk who are unemployed. In a 1st world country, I see no reason why there should be unemployment. Stop austerity and cuts to services, stop paying out in benefits and invest the money saved in providing jobs for everyone. They can start by employing more people in child care, to pave the way for single parents to be able to afford to go back to work. Saying that though, I (in fact we) know a single mother of 4 who gets no support from either of the fathers of her kids but gets up and goes to work every day. I work over my 37.5 hours per week, every week and have less disposable income than the average single parent and no have no housing security. I can see why so many choose the option…

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