LETTER: State takes over parenthood

Blaise Tapp raises important questions [Herald, September 2] about the gender pay gap and child rearing but, in my opinion, misses the point.

Whether it is the mother or the father who is the main homemaker and child rearer the point is how few parents have the choice for one to stay at home – at least until children reach school age. For most two salaries are a necessity, although much of one often goes on the cost of childcare.

The solution, I believe, is not so much covering the cost of childcare which will always rise to match state subsidies but to enable couples to manage on one salary. This will only be possible by a generous transfer of tax allowances from the stay-at-home parent to the working parent. This would give real choice. What we have at present is parenthood being increasingly taken over by the State. This prevents the natural parents passing on their own family values to the next generation and we end up with children being inculcated with ‘State values’. Ironically, this is exactly what Communist and Fascist regimes have done in the past.

John de Waal

Ratton Road

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