Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Immigrants,childcare and elections

The big two stories so far this year have been work permits and the new story that the governments new childcare proposal means that workers here can get the €1000 euro benefit when their kids are back home in Eastern Europe. This amounts to according to Fine Gael €150million and Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness to €50million more then the budget budgeted for. The government say that they have budgeted for it by taken into account the child benefit scheme already in place. However this is basically crap nobody in this country knows what they can claim so the likelihood of immigrants knowing what they can get is not likely. But they will now know with all the media coverage.

I am with Fine Gael on this one. Now I think immigrant workers should be and are entitled to the normal child care benefit. That is for the upkeep of children of people in the state and the fact that they are in Eastern Europe is inconsequential. The childcare grant is to help parents with childcare. It is suppose to make it feasible for both parents to stay in the workforce. But as the kids are in Eastern Europe they are not impeding their parent(s) from working and thus the childcare provision does not achieve its aim and thus is wasted tax payers money. The reason the government did not operate a voucher system for childcare places was to pander to the one group that has faced down the government and won. The stay at home mothers. They brought down McCreavys individualisation project and Fianna Fail didn’t want to suffer the same kind of defeat so close to an election. So the benefit was to all children instead of to subsides workers childcare. Hence we are where we are.

Elections are about issue. Always have been and always will be. In 1918 despite what Kevin Myres might think the issue was about the 1916 rising and independence, during the 80s it was the economy. So what is it going to be next election. The smart money is on health. The economy is basically spectacular but the health system is dire. So you would expect healthcare to be the only words coming out of Labour Greens and Fine Gael would be beds, MRSA, consultants, weighting list and trolleys. True the words have been coming out. However not as much as would be expected.

The words that are coming out though are about immigration. This suggest that this will be the platform on which the election is fought. If there is any major crime or murder carried out by a Immigrant that catchs the public imagination watch this powder keg go off.

I hope I am wrong

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