What would you do if you were Prime Minister?

With General Election fever in the air, Prima Baby has been talking to various political leaders about their plans for a more family friendly Britain - everything from extended paternity rights to priority parking for pregnant women.

We're compiling a feature on each of the party's proposals - and while we're at it, we'd like to include yours too!

If YOU were in charge of running the country, what would you like to see? More midwives being trained? More help towards paying for quality childcare? We'll publish a selection in Prima Baby magazine and help to get your voice heard.

Tell us below:
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Posts

  • I would like to see...

    - More consideration for parents who aren't eligible for most child-related benefits due to high earnings thresholds. I do fully appreciate how hard it is for people on low / no incomes, I really do... (my sister is one of those families) but at the same time, many people have paid taxes for years and years without complaining about it (yes me and hubby included) and the one time crops up when they (yes us!) need a bit of additional support and they (yes we!) can't get it. I know this is controversial but its how I feel and I say it in the nicest possible way without causing offense!

    - I personally don't think pregnant women should get parking spaces. Pregnancy isn't an illness. Disabled people have no choice in their disability. Although I DO wish there were more that could be done to stop people without babies and children parking in parent & baby / child parking spaces!

    - I think Daddies (all partners I mean) should get extended paternity leave. Many only get one week before having to forefit some of their salary. ONE WEEK with your new baby????? So not fair!!!

    - I would like to see more companies / organisations being more supportive when it comes to time off work for looking after a poorly baby / child. Also for them to be held accountable if they are not supportive! I am very lucky and get 5 additional days "carers" leave before I have to start eating into my holiday allowance. Non parents at my work also get this, i.e. they can use it to look after ill family members (that aren't necessarily their own kids) or take elderly family to the Dr's etc...

    - More financial help towards child-care would be fantastic! They have us over a barrel on this one really!!!

    - Its off topic but can you please add that tampax and towels should be free. We don't choose to have periods its not fair we have to pay so much for these things!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :lol:

    The money ones are difficult though. I live in the South East so everything is more expensive that say, someone living in the Midlands. But we do still strugggle you know! :\?

    Joo xxx
  • Agree with everything apart from the comments on tampax/towels.
  • I think mothers should be offered longer paid maternity leave and this may seem controversial also that SMP should not just be a standard amount for everyone but should be based on salary, as on SMP i take home ??700 less a month than my normal full time wage which means im having to go back to work earlier than i want to becasue the gap is to much. Whereas someone on a lower salary to me is probably only losing ??200 a month which makes a big difference.

    I agree with MummyJoo about dads paternity leave i think its awful the amount of time they get off.

    Another thing that really annoys me is that partners arent allowed to stay in hopsital after the baby was born my hubby was chucked out at 3am and i after 21 hours of labour was so tired and drained from the labour and was just left on a ward with other mums who were all asleep i coudlnt lift my baby as my arms had no strength and it was really not a good experience for me really ruined my first few hours with my baby.

    Rach and Ollie 26+1
    xxxx

    [Modified by: MrsB84 on March 10, 2010 11:46 AM]

  • definitely more help towards childcare regardless of earnings!
    more midwives would be brilliant, so would more health visitors (who actually know what they're doing)
    more accessible public transport... (maybe its good in cities/towns but its utter rubbish in rural areas)
    longer paid paternity leave available
    some more help for people on low incomes would be good - people on wages under (and well under) the national average esp. I know people on higher earnings feel they are sometimes discriminated against but people who earn half the national average really do struggle and its not through fault of their own in this current economical climate - they'll take any job they can just to have one! (or because they otherwise cant afford the childcare....)
    maybe a more regulated SMP... i know on SMP I took home LESS than the national SMP! yes it means i took less of a drop in wages, but that extra ??20 a week would have made a massive difference (just as people who are accustomed to living on much higher wages notice the differences of 100's ??) Set a minimum SMP and dont allow anyone to go on mat leave and earn less than that....
    less tax on things! Certainly reduce the second tax on fuel if not scrap it completely like it should have been, reintroduce the 10p tax. give mothers home responsibilities protection until their youngest is age 18 again (not sure why they have decided to change this to 12)
    agree to have no expenses allowed! and no second jobs either! they earn enough as it is and should be representing their people for their beliefs not the money. maybe allow them all a free standard class rail ticket each year but anything else they should have to pay for.


    more funding for schools and hospitals (although our hospital just got a grant for new chairs! Whats that about - the old ones were actually very comfy!)

    I'm sure I'll think of some more..... image

    xx
  • Agree with everything said so far.

    - I would like to see prescription's either free or a lot cheaper. Yeah ok my son gets them free until he is 16/18 and I do until I have had this baby but my partner doesn't and its a fortune at times. I knwo someone who has asthma...no fault of her own and has to pay each time for an inhaler etc.

    Money twoards childcare and more money put into increasing the standard of childcare.

    Benefits - better beneifts for working parents. I have worked my ass off and so has my partner for what? ??80 a month? What a joke.

    More pay for midwifes - the work they do, the hours they do, the fact they are truely invaluable for pittance. Yeah we may moan about them sometimes but where would we be without one?

    Better social security - with the constant news of poor social workers etc, i think we need better training for those willing to go into the job. I would love to be a social worker but I cannot afford the training or be able to go to uni for three years full time.

    Theres sooo much I could ramble on about....safe to say country's a mess!!
  • Wow Joo read my mind! i was going to say about the high earning threshold too! we are in exactly the same situation, and I was forced to go back to work when Abby was just a few months old because we couldn't afford mortgage repayments with my meager SMP.

    I also think that paternity leave is a joke as it is at the moment. But I dont think the answer is more time off for new fathers, but that the time be fully paid. I would much rather Neil had had 2 weeks on full pay, than 6 months at no pay. (if that makes sense!) He couldn't take any more than a few days when Abby was born - that pesky mortgage again!

  • quote :Its off topic but can you please add that tampax and towels should be free. We don't choose to have periods its not fair we have to pay so much for these things!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    joo that made me chuckle :lol: i agree with alot of whats being said ...i would like to list them all and more but i need to feed my children image i think more help with childcare and paternity pay to be higher and for longer are amoungst the top ,aswell as higher pay for midwifes xx
  • Agree with what Joo says

    More help with childcare, even for people who earn a higher wage when you take into account ??900+ a month for childcare who can afford that and a home etc !!! The government wants mothers back into work, theyre not gonna get it while childcare is as extortinate as it as currently. I pay nearly ??500 a month for 2 days a week ! Madness !!!!

    Better SMP and child benefit. ??80 does nto go far these days at all, the cost of living doesnt seem to be taken into account when these figures are decided. My sister lives in France and her SMP was exactly the same as her wage for almost the first year. Plus she can claim the money back on things like bum cream (although a tin of SMA does cost ??20, but her child benefit is significantly higher).

    Paternity leave and pay must be fairer, 1 week is crap and who can afford for the primary bread winner (as most OH's are) to take a massive wage drop to spend more time getting to know their child !!

    Make companies fairer when it comes to us Mums needing time off work for our children. We cant help it when their sick and their nursery/childminder cant take them btu we cant afford to lose the money either ! We get stuck between a rock and a hard place !!
  • Along with everything that has been said, I would like to echo Joo's comment on sanitary towels and tampons. I have heard that men get their shaving equipment VAT-free, whereas we have to pay VAT on sanitary items as they are "non-essential". What the hell??!! So no VAT on those please

    More help for people wanting to train to be a Midwife. I am looking into this and from what I can tell, I wouldn't be entitled to the full bursary, parental learning allowance or childcare allowance as H2B "earns too much". Um, if we lose my wage we will basically have NO money for 3 years while I take the degree course. You get more money for being in London but I am in the South East and as far as I can tell the living costs here are very similar to the capital. I want to train so much but I don't see how we will be able to afford it (as alot of you have commented on this thread, we are in that "earn too much" bracket where we still struggle but get no help)

    Something needs to be done about the amount of deposit needed to buy a home. Yes the government has schemes for low earning households but if your parents can't help with a deposit you have no chance

    And above all, fix the bloody potholes!!!!!!! xx
  • This is controversial. but I would like the government to put less pressure on people to breastfeed. I agree that women need to be encouraged to BF, but with all the "breastfeeeding audits" and other schemes in place, it forces MW's to be very gung ho about it - even if it is not in the mother or babies best interests. I know that I was actually put off the idea of BF by all the pressure.
  • It probably is controversial Nikkiandneil, but I agree with you in a way because it makes me feel like a terrible mother that Haiden wouldn't latch on however hard I tried. I absolutely tried my best at the time but now I'm doubting myself. Does that make sense? Now I am looking at doing my Midwifery training I see it even more! If I had been able to feed my daughter I would have done and all the advertising a pressure about it makes me want to cry x
  • i am very much for the maternity pay to be equivalant to your normal wages, i will drop over 1K a month when i go down to SMP, and yes i will probably be told i am very lucky to earn that much, not enough for a nurse in my opinion, but its one hell of a drop to say someone drawing say ??100 less

    i dont think free sanitary products are going to benifit anyone greatly a couple of pound a month isnt going to make a differnce - more important things for money to go on in my opinion

    longer paid paternity leave, one week isnt enough support for a new mum esp after a section! and suggesting fathers take half of the maternity leave is stupid, can my hubby BF no he cant, as many fathers are my hubby earns more than me and we couldnt manage without his wage total waste of time as a policy!

    fines for people abusing parent and toddler bays,

    more money on HV and midwives, our area has just recived a big cut in funds, not acceptable when you have increaseing birth rate,

    reduced formula prices, its a joke that people who cant BF spend a fortune on formula!
  • not had my baby yet but i would really like to see buggy areas on buses... i heard on the news that they're thinking of banning buggies on buses.
    Right... so if i dont drive... i am just not allowed to travel, this really isnt fair to those people who dont drive (and i wont learn either for environmental reasons, sorry).

    1 week paternity leave is disgusting, simply. My husband is a PC and he only gets one week off... so he's saving up all his holiday to take at once. Which he shouldnt have to do.

    childcare in this country is also a joke. I dont work and wont go bck til my child is at school, as i am not paying over ??200 a week for what i can assume i can provide at home for cheaper.

    oh and reusable nappies should be free.

    erm. thats about it for today.
  • argh triple post!

    [Modified by: rosemary20 on March 10, 2010 02:23 PM]



    [Modified by: rosemary20 on March 10, 2010 02:23 PM]

  • triple post!

    [Modified by: rosemary20 on March 10, 2010 02:24 PM]

  • not had my baby yet but i would really like to see buggy areas on buses... i heard on the news that they're thinking of banning buggies on buses.
    Right... so if i dont drive... i am just not allowed to travel, this really isnt fair to those people who dont drive (and i wont learn either for environmental reasons, sorry).

    i saw this on the wright stuff this morning and cant belives some mothers emailed in to say that was right and that you should fold a buggy up to get on a bus?? yeah i can carry a buggy, a baby and shopping!

    i would also like to add buggy space for trains, i used to go to my friends on the train but you cant get a buggy down the isle so have to stand in the entrance pods where people push past the buggy and give you dirty looks for being in the way as i have experienced
  • you know what - I've written a reply to this 5 times now and its been eaten by the BE white screen - so annoying!!!!

    I was saying that I disagree about the bf - there needs to be more spent on promoting bf not less. Formula companies have millions of ?? to advertise, and do so annoyingly invading my daily life with adverts, whereas the govt spend pennies compared to that promoting bf - which is maybe why some mws/hvs seem so pushy. And the bf posters are only usually in health centres and the like so its not as though it invades daily life like the formula companies do!

    having said that I do agree there needs to be a cap on the price of formula.

    i'd like to see much more recognition for the key workers - the people who do the work behind the scene such as nurses, mws and hvs. they deserve a bloody good pay rise (maybe instead of the mp's getting expenses?)

    xx

    (lets hope this goes through this time coz if it doesnt I cant be bothered trying again - its very off-putting!)
  • Whilst I do not want to create a debate on bf/ff promotion, I wish to slightly disagree.

    Yes formula milk do have adverts...all for over 6 months only, all saying that bf is best for baby for the first 6 months. Now I totally agree with that but when I failed to bf with my first I was made to feel an absolute failure by midwifes/hv other mums etc. My son was then fed by formula and is a healthy, thriving young boy. And I am much happier. I will be giving BF a go this time but I do not want to be made a failure if for the 2nd time round I cannot do it.

    There should be equal promotion for bf/ff from birth
  • I am all for encouraging BF (and maybe they should spend more on that) but the current tactics amount to bullying in my oppinion.

    Most new mums and mum's to be know about the benefits of breastfeeding, and are able to get help and support with it (from lovely ladies like icecreamlover!) if they want it. I doubt many people take the decision to switch to FF lightly, and being told off by a MW/HV just makes being a new mum very difficult - and can contribute to PND.

    A friend of mine (who had had to give up BF because she was on meds for PND) once burt into tears in the middle of boots, because a shop assistant was very rude about formula (she was explaining why they dont give you advantage card points on first milk) which just makes me so angry about the whole thing. As if anyone would switch to FF just for advantage card points!
  • Can I just comment on the buggies on the buses issue. It is a huge issue, and one I hope is taken seriously.

    There either needs to be a pushchair area, though I must say I could scream when I get on a bus and there is one woman with her pushchair parked accross a spot which can easily hold three pushchairs and just pretends she can't see the other mums struggling.

    But anyhow that or, when we lived in Sussex, our local buses all had steps and there was no place for them, but all the buses had a conductor and so he'd come down and carry the shopping/ fold the pushchair and give a hand to mums getting on the bus, and it was a really lovely service. We got to know the conductor on our local bus so well my daughter was always giving him big smiles.

    xx
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