We should not however try to go back to a breadwinner/full-time mother society. We need to have a special Family Responsibility Benefit for families with a child under school age. Young children require considerable attention which makes it impossible for both parents to make a normal contribution to family income. Either one parent (usually the mother) is restricted in her ability to earn if she provides this, personally, or the couple have considerable expense in providing substitute care.
It is essential that the family should be free to choose how this care is provided. The present system of support produces a poverty trap and is administratively expensive. Only a special benefit can provide the necessary flexibility. The form of care will vary according to the age and needs of the child and the earning opportunities available to both parents.
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