70 years after Beveridge, what new challenges do we face?

In 1942, Beveridge believed post-war Britain would have to tackle five ‘Giant Evils’ of Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness.

When the National Conversation goes public later this year, we will ask if we face the same social problems today, or a set of new ones?

How interesting, then, that today Policy Exchange Director Neil O’Brien shows how the costs of childcare are becoming a big issue for families.  He writes: “in Britain a typical working family can expect to spend more than a quarter (27%) of their net household income on childcare, one of the highest rates in any developed country. I have friends who spend more on childcare for their one toddler than they do on rent. No wonder some mothers wonder if it’s worth going back to work.”

What do you think?

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3 thoughts on “70 years after Beveridge, what new challenges do we face?

  1. Oh boy: a topic painfully close to my heart, and definitely a discussion we need to get mobilised. The cost of childcare is shocking and parents seem very un-empowered about making a fuss about it. It’s actually crazy that successful professional women should have to give up their careers because the post-tax comp vs childcare cost figures don’t stack up. It’s no good for morale or the economy. Maternal guilt is enough of an ugly demon for all working mothers without adding the fear that all that sacrificed precious time is not even cost effective.

  2. Emma – you’re right we’re un-empowered. Mobilised? Well, my experience is that the market decides it – the cost of childcare is what the market will bear.
    Not that this is right, or healthy…
    My case is that one of us earned more than the other, the lesser salary comparable to the cost of a full-time ‘proper’ nanny (maternal guilt demanded the best?) after tax.
    Given that the lesser salary was mine, (I fathered), the choice was that I work to continue my career, and the mortgage and so on was met by my wife; or, I stayed home and did a less professional, but parental, job.
    We chose the latter. The ‘system’ lost a teacher, kept a ‘banker’, and, we’ve now two members of the “futures market”. Overall tax-take better for the govt., but what’s the message?
    There seems to be some idea across parties that ‘the more tax payers, the better’. I wonder why?
    One small step to empowerment would be working parents being able to transfer their tax allowances to each other – in our case it would have given me not quite the minimum wage for childcare.
    So I want a National Conversation on ‘the futures market’ – my kids have been looked after by a parent, not necessarily the biologically best equipped! But in terms of tax-take, we’ve supplied the government with more than they’d got otherwise. Who has won? Who has paid?

  3. Pingback: The growing of cost of raising kids | National Conversation Blog

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