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2010-10-07 - 18:14:00 - by AlisonW - Topic: Personal: In the news | Politics |

I've just listened to an interview on PM with a man who has – with his partner – a total of eight children; four were hers before they met, one of the subsequent four was planned, the remaining three weren't. I note this because he was being asked about the Government plans for a cap on child-related benefits.

Unsurprisingly, Labour have added it to their list of things they are annoyed about (despite the high probability that had they been re-elected they'd have had to undertake very similar actions) but I am in whole-hearted agreement with the plans, indeed I might even go a little further.

Yes, through circumstances, I have no children but (as the saying goes) lots of my friends do so. Having a family is – in large degree – a matter of choice. There are many mechanical and chemical means to prevent pregnancy meaning that to have a child is, in most cases, a positive choice to do so. Just as you would only buy a house or car or clothes which are within your budget so, surely, is the decision to have one or more children.

To have a child is to decide to have a financial and social 'burden' for 18 years to life. To choose something is to be responsible for that choice and the subsequent effects of that choice. And it shouldn't be for someone else to pick up the tab for that choice.

If I'd like a new house (and, frankly, I'd love something larger than the studio flat I've lived in for the last 24 years) it is up to me to finance such a change. It isn't for me to pick one out at the estate agent's and say "the taxpayers of the UK will pay for it, don't worry".

Children should be no different. You made in your bed: now make it.



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