Oh Bugger... I'm going to throw the cat amongst the pigeons here...
I don't object to paying for education... it's an invaluable resource that can only improve the country. What I do object to is paying social security benefits to "asylum seekers" who are having more and more children here, thus helping to secure them a life in the UK.
I am all for offering refuge to those who genuinely need it, but i have a problem with people taking the piss. I have worked hard and occasionally I have a patch of no work due to the nature of my industry. When I used to sign on, life was made difficult for me by the Employment dept with making my claim. I had to borrow money from friends for food and rent as they would take a month to assess my claim. This was in the Elephant and Castle office. I felt like they resented my being there for being white and , in their eyes, middle class. There were people in that office who could not speak English and were given every help, as they should. But why do I find it a battle every time? I don't bother to sign on any more when i have breaks, I just get a bar job.
I decided to whinge no more about and actually do something. I have ditched my Labour leanings and have moved further to the right as I htink that the situation has got way out of control. I don't read The Sun or the Daily Mail and yet I am often put into these brackets.
Of course people can legitimately complain that child benefit and tax relief for children doesn't always go to people who have earned it, and in some cases goes to people who don't need it or are claiming it illegally. But this isn't the point that Mr Thomas was making. With apologies to him for quoting, which I know is irritating, what he said was 'if people want to have children they should have the means to support them'.
My points are (1) children aren't a sort of optional extra, like foreign holidays - they are necessary for the future of the world and for the future of us individually (2) if people only had children when they were sure they could pay for them, from birth to university, there wouldn't be nearly enough to keep us going and (3) whatever the sins or circumstances of the parents, the children shouldn't suffer. If people spend their child benefit on booze and fags, and don't look after their children, well, deal with them by all means, but at least let's see ourselves as part of a community and be willing to pay out - if we can afford it - to look after children, to give them the chance to turn into reasonable adults who can look after us when we need it.
People should bear in mind whether or not they can afford to have children. If you are on no income and relying on benefits, it is morally and socially irresponsible to go ahead and have children that the state is expected to feed and house. Isn't the system crippled as it is.
If more people took responsibility for their actions, surely the world would be a far better place.
Anyone see 'City of the Gods'? - set in Rio - if you have, you'll know what a depressing state of affairs can arise in a country that doesn't tax and doesn't have a social system. Taxes may be high but the alternative is much worse.
The majority of children being brought into the world are to poorer, less educated parents, as the career minded academics don't want to lose the necessary time involved in child rearing. The world needs kids, so the wealthy childless have to stump up.
I think this raises a lot of points - lost gene pool of the intelligentsia, increased gene pool of the thickies and separately; devaluation of degrees as the latest government stance is that everyone that wants to go to university should be able to.....I mean how idiotic is that?
I think we should pay taxes. And I think they should support children (whoever the parents are).
Having said that, I do find it a bit bizarre when (using an example I know about) my brother in law and his partner (both mid to late twenties, healthy and capable of, though not really inclined to, work) can get benefits to enable them to pay rent, buy food and clothes and raise two children all on the state.
Now, I understand why we cannot let people in that situation starve and why we must support them. However, I don't understand how the definition that we're using for "support" means that they get enough income to afford a nice rented house, be dressed in new, branded (i.e. not cheap), clothes, afford Sky TV, etc.
It pains me to say it (especially as I'm basing this on a family member), but there are cases where we are giving NO incentive to people on benefits to get out and work. For my brother in law and his partner, not working is a viable life option. Their children will grow up with this pattern as an example.
On the other hand, something in my mindset leans a lot more towards the original sentiments in this post - namely that you should really consider whether you can afford something before you do it. "The better educated people" are having children later. Some of this is to do with selfishness (speaking personally), but a lot is to do with resources and aversion to taking benefits.