The government likes a hard working family, you can picture them can’t you like a Soviet poster with Argos furniture, smiling with shiny new things and big smiles and tired parents from a hard day’s work and grateful to the government for helping then get their shiny new house, a realistic Utopia under the Tories. This home owning land of self-respect would be a great place, a place of dignity where the odds are always in your favour and the Hunger Games can end with work.
1My family poster would include mum but not dad and two children and mum works too, just like 59% of single parents. Unlike too parent families the strain is on one person, the homework, the doctors and the dentist the washing and the rent are on one person. So this must be a poster of a family that deserves government approval and opportunity.
Now I like working, I’m proud to talk and moan about work with my kids, I believe the best way to teach worth ethic to your kids is to work. I teach them to understand work can be boring, bitchy, nasty but worth it and if they work hard they can achieve their dreams so the odds should be in my favour, but I don’t feel that way, I still walk around thinking about money, I go without haircuts all the time and live off my overdraft, I buy cheap shoes so my kids can get a new pair and dread the post, because there are bills I can’t pay.
2 Tax Credits made my work worth it to start with, it meant my income meant something, my overdraft stops at that and the Foodbank isn’t needed, it’s the odd day out, broadband to look for new jobs and get self-respect and possible opportunities like tweeting for “The Green Party”. So yes I would rather not partly live off the state but my kids grow up with a little more than the minimum and more opportunities so this means the odds are deservedly in my favour.
3 Then you hear the government raise the minimum wage, this must be a good thing but the government forgot or ignored the details or thought they could bluff their way through them while not caring about the kids involved. Tax credits will be cut and a few quid on my hard won wages wouldn’t make me any richer and the poster would not feature new Argos furniture or smiles but more poverty, fewer new coats and hot meals while the government tells me work is virtuous and if I’m part of a “hard working family”.
As a single mum the odds are never in your favour.