Maternity Benefit – Should it be scrapped?

Sometimes myself and my other half don’t always agree and we have to learn to agree to disagree and this subject is one of those!

Watching some BBC program on Sunday morning, I turned it on just as they had started debating maternity leave pay and whether it should be scrapped. One of the panel was a Katie Hopkins (Now I’m not going to lie, I can’t stand the women, from what I’ve read about her I’m not keen anyway but I find her so patronising too). She thinks that maternity leave shouldn’t be paid and with her first child she lived in America and took just 8 weeks unpaid maternity leave as they don’t get paid. She then went on about its crippling businesses with women deciding to have children and it’s not her responsibility as a business owner these women decide to have children.

Firstly I have to say, if you hate the way the government runs things like this and prefer the American way – please feel free to move your business there and stop taking money from the British public.

Anyway my other half thinks that 9 months paid maternity leave is far too much and thinks it should only be 3 months. Being there twice, I couldn’t disagree more.

On both occasions I have taken maternity leave we have had to take a mortgage payment break & use any savings that we had left just to get through those months, my company (a fairly well-known brand in their field) only pay the government statutory pay and they got a temp in to cover my job, so contrary to some beliefs they actually only had to pay for the temps salary whilst I was on maternity leave.

Some people reading this are probably thinking, I pay taxes but why should I pay for your maternity leave? To be fair firstly as I’ve been working since I was 14 its highly likely I’ve paid more taxes than I’ve actually received in maternity benefit as has my other half but second to that. I don’t have a choice to not pay tax which currently gets handed out on government “projects”, MP expenses or loads of other wasted black holes of money. It’s part of being a british tax payer, they tax you to death and even in death, no two ways around it. I just have to deal with it. It may not be right or wrong but lets face it as grown adults we don’t always agree with the governments decisions, most of us don’t agree with any decisions but we just have to live by them whilst we live here.

But to me this is more than just the pay, it’s the whole leave. There is no way I would have had a baby and go back to work after 3 months. I hated leaving my babies and returning at 9 months old.

After having a baby there is so many adjustments to make, bonds to form and changes that happen over those first few months that I felt I needed to be there and go through those with our baby that we chose to bring into the world, not a nanny, babysitter or nursery. I felt for those 9 months that it was my job to be there and do that, even if it did push us financially to the limit.

It wasn’t even that I was breastfeeding and that I was “needed” at home to feed on demand but that motherly instinct took over and those instincts to protect, nurture and help my child grow and develop ,mean’t I did everything in my power to stay as long as I could to be at home with them.

So to have someone tell me that they think “its my responsibility to pay for my maternity leave” was a step too far.. I do pay, it’s called my taxes, the same type that pay you when you appear on the BBC!

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