My adventures & misadventures in parenting & life.

Friday, 21 December 2007

National News.

Another Lost Chance To Help Mothers.

Many mothers are denied a full state pension as they don't have sufficient National Insurance contributions.

Why is this Government so determined to discriminate against mothers who take time out to bring up their children?

At the moment, 90 per cent of men in Britain retire on a full state pension, but only 30 per cent of women do so.
This totally avoidable inequality happens because many mothers don't have sufficient years of National Insurance contributions.

Now it has emerged - and only because of a pointed question tabled by a peer - that Labour has decided not to bother helping these women.

How typical of a Government that makes billions available in childcare subsidies to mothers who go back to work, but does nothing at all to help those who wish to stay at home to care for their own children.

What a pity that yet another opportunity to help marriage and motherhood has been squandered.

Why Not Just Hand Out The Nations Details With Every Value Meal, It Would Be More Secure!

The Government lost the child benefit details, including bank accounts, of 25 million people.
It mislaid the personal details of three million learner drivers, but didn't bother to tell us for six months.
Half of family doctors don't believe that their patients' records will be safe in the coming £20billion NHS database.

And now they want to collect yet more highly personal data.

Town halls have been told to spend up to £55million of our money gathering information about council taxpayers, including everything from sexual orientation to mortgages.

And there are no guarantees that this information won't be misused, or even sold to the private sector.

Add this to plans to push ahead with ID cards come what may, and it's clear that ministers care nothing for people's grave concerns about the security of their data.

The answer must be a detailed examination of every piece of personal information held about its citizens, with ministers obliged to explain in each case why they need it, who has access to it, and what measures have been taken to secure it.

Any database that can't be justified and secured should be scrapped.

Finding A Soft Target.

Violent crime is on the rise.
Conviction rates are falling.
The police are considering whether to strike.
Our prisons are full to bursting.

Now they plan a two-year jail sentence for using a mobile phone at the wheel of a car.
Putting on make up or fiddling with your iPod could lead to the same penalty.

There are parts of this change in the law that should be applauded.

The dangerous driver who kills an innocent pedestrian will in future face up to 14 years in jail.

Such a change was long overdue.
Too many killers have escaped lightly.

How can we be sure that the police won't use the changes to waste more of their time pursuing the law-abiding over their driving habits or use the laws to ban smoking in all forms of transport?

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