Monday, 4 October 2010

Have blog, will travel

I've rarely known a period like the one I'm traversing. No sooner am I in the holy land of Mancunia than I must sally forth again - is sally connected to salir in Spanish? Just a thought - to return to the south in search of food, lodgings and work. I'll be back here again in ten days to introduce the future in-laws and outlaws. I should invest in bungee cord shares or something.

I don't object to the travel. It's the cursed necessity to be alert and working when I get to my destination which I resent. Tomorrow I will meet new students in the afternoon. I could have fun, I suppose, and set them all a spot test, but I understand that's not in the spirit of Freshers Week. Spoilsports!

Speaking of spoilsports, I cannot help reflecting that the people who will be most affected by the announcement today that child benefit will be stopped for those earning over £44K or thereabouts are all the traditionally-minded families I know whose husbands have just about clawed their way up to the £45K mark so that they can afford to have one wage earner in the house, leaving their wives free to raise the children and not leave their education in the uncertain and even dangerous hands of the teaching classes. Thanks, Osbourne.

Of course that is perhaps an example of what we can call pre-emptive appeasement. Whether it quiets the souls of those whose jobs and pensions are just about to go west in the Comprehensive Spending Review is another thing. But then we cannot afford to pay ourselves more than we earn ... unless we are talking about investment bankers whom we cannot afford not to pay more than a dozen of us on average earn every year, for fear they will bugger off to parts foreign ... or so we're told.

Still, all the more reason for us to trust in Providence. How else can we face rapacious Britain?

******

I just realised that the removal of child benefit is not based on household income but on individual income. So that means if mum and dad work and both earn, say, £42K, they will retain child benefit; if mum stays at home and dad, on £44K, goes to work, they will loose their child benefit. The excuse for this stupidity is that means testing would create a complex system. Better just to lop off the branch completely.

That of course is what rule by elected government is about: the avoidance of complexity. Meanwhile, I understand the City will pay out £7 billion pounds in bonuses this year, or £70K average per head.

Somewhere, something does not compute.

2 comments:

Ttony said...

Sally: from MFr "salir" (Salire) to leap. The verb is formed from the military meaning of the words as a noun "a sudden rush out on an enemy".

The Shorter OED sits next to the computer in this house.

The Guild Master said...

Re. the Child Benefit issue. Means testing isn't at all difficult when it suits the State, as with Income Tax, for example.

The problem is that the State no longer regards marriage as any more than two atomised individuals living under the same roof, so why would they trouble to think of issues such as total earnings in one family versus the same in another?