It's not easy to be a mammy crusader. No matter how valiant the cause, or noble the protest, it's really hard to work up the necessary passion when all you really want is a good night's sleep! Finding your get up and go is near impossible when your get up and go got up and left about three seconds after the test turned positive and you officially became captive to a higher power, otherwise known as your baby.
Here's the thing. I firmly believe with all my heart that what the Irish government is doing is despicable. The Early Childcare supplement was cut last year by almost ten Percent. In the recent “Emergency” budget, our children were yet again asked to “tighten their belts” to the tune of a further 50% cut of the ECS which will then be abolished all together in 2010. The Snot Queen doesn't even WEAR a belt yet! The only ones she has are sewn onto her pants for decoration!
I saw an interesting item on the news recently about the daily expense accounts of those powers that be in the dail in the who have decided that our children should pay the cost for foolhardy business decisions made by the banks, the developers and (dare I suggest it?) the government themselves. €300.00 is what the men and women of fine fail are given as “pocket money” on a daily basis to cover the miscellanaeous expenses that their already overblown salaries simply do not stretch to cover.
Another interesting news item told the tale of a married couple who were both TD's and as such, entitled to €144 per night "accomodation" expenses which they both claimed regularly despite only using ONE room between them. It wasn't until they'd racked up over €30,000 of taxpayer's money that their consciences got to them and they decided to come clean and begin only taking the one allowance to share betwixt them. Aaaaaaaahh! How noble of them. They have yet to face any repercussions for their actions.
Then of course, there's the "Brand new! Still in the Box!" €51, 000, 000 electronic voting system that we all new was a COLOSSAL waste of money from the start but that the gvn't STILL went ahead and funded and have now decided to scrap altogether. Now, I don't know about you, but I freak out if my partner wants to order takeaway more then once a month as to me, paying through the nose for shit food that never tastes as good as you think it will and always does horrible things to your insides is a huge waste of money, and that's only €20.00 or so and at least you get a nice case of indigestion to show for your money spent! What do they have to show for the €51 million trusted to them by the Irish taxpayers to spend in a wise and thoughtful manner?
I could go on and on and on and on. I could talk about our old friend the Financial Regulator whose job was to act as a financial watchdog, ensuring that this very sort of mess never happened and who "retired" with a sweet good bye package totalling in the millions and then was strangely enough never heard from again when the proverbial hit the fan.
I could talk about the many gvn't run businesses who remain exempt from the pension levies.
I could talk about words like "kickback" and "Development"
I could start asking questions about how when times were good, we put our children into portable classrooms and let them turn bathrooms into classrooms rather then build much needed (and much cheaper in the long run) extensions to our nations schools and yet now, when the coffers are supposedly dry, we have no problem throwing money at the very people who got us into this mess in an effort to "help them out"
If the gvn't was interested, I, along with a number of other concerned citizens, could probably find a number of places to locate the funds needed to fill the ever growing hole that is our economy, and you know what?
At no point would that involve taking money from our children.
So yes, I could go on and on, but the more I type, the angrier I get and the more I am inspired to get out there and do something. So yes, while a good night's sleep may sound really good to me most of the time, right now, to this mammy crusader, securing my children's future sounds even better.
Looks like my get up and go just got back.
For more information on PACUB (Protest Against Child Unfriendly Budget) click here and to read about the campaign in the Irish Times, click here.