Back to work again! The UK Tories continue their assault on traditional family life

The British government has noticed that some people are taking time off work to care for elderly relatives or their children, and they are not happy that these people are not earning, paying taxes and — possibly — paying for carers.

The Conservative Party, which has governed the UK in a succession of administrations of varying stability and effectiveness since 2010, is currently gathering for its annual conference in Birmingham, England’s second city in the heart of the nation’s former industrial heartland.

While attention has focused mainly on the government’s defeat in the media and markets less than a month into office, much else has happened, including the government’s jobs minister striking some familiar notes about the importance of ensuring that people are productive. GDP units instead of spending time with their families.

The Daily Telegrapha broad-based Tory newspaper, reported comments from a secretary of state at the Department for Work and Pensions, Victoria Prendi, who said of the government’s concern:

Middle-aged people who took early retirement during the pandemic are now “desperately” needed back at work, according to Victoria Prendi, secretary of state at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

He went on to say that just because people have family responsibilities, such as caring for children or elderly parents, “doesn’t mean we can’t work” and “doesn’t mean we can’t work full-time”.

Her comments come as the government prepares to launch a new push to get the over-50s back into employment.

The remarks raise a number of points, including that despite the insanely high levels of immigration the government has presided over in recent years — last year was the highest always with over a million visas granted — the job market is still “very, very tight.”

Don’t forget that keeping the borders open despite all the public opinion and all the election promises is essentially sold on the basis of the job market and economic growth that needs people. Many people. However, despite 1,114,065 new people coming in a twelve month, the government still feels it needs to move away from elderly grandparents or their young children to boost the workforce, which perhaps shows how well this policy of open border does not work.

Not that this is much of a new angle from the Conservatives, who really make no bones about viewing the public as economic units and child-rearing and family care as an inconvenient obstacle to boosting those GDP numbers. The recently ousted Conservative Home Secretary Priti Patel embodied these values ​​and was criticized for having an “almost communist” outlook on work when she told an “economically inactive” group – stay-at-home mothers – to leave home and work.

As one commentator noted at the time, he was quoted as saying: “it is an irony of the way government values ​​citizens that people are judged worthy if they look after other people’s children or clean other people’s houses – for a wage – but looked down on if they perform exactly the same duties for their own family’.

The British tax system penalizes traditional families with one parent staying at home and the other parent working harder and earning more to make up for the gains.

There are other paths available, of course. But as the botched and abandoned latest tax cut for top earners, while giving nothing to “squeezed” middle-class families, confirms, the Tories remain unconcerned about serving the interests of the voters who keep them in power.

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