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Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Benefits and big feet...

I am officially on tenterhooks. Mrs B is 38 weeks pregnant and I cannot let my phone out of my sight. As I type, I have it nestled in my pocket, set on the loudest ring tone possible and with maximum vibration. The result, unfortunately, is that I jumped out of my skin and let out a slight yelp this morning when a text arrived from T-Mobile telling me something utterly irrelevant.

Everyone also keeps telling us that the baby could arrive any time now which, although well intended, is actually intensely annoying. It's as if they expect us to drop everything and start panicing as a direct result of their insightful advice.

"Really Mrs Jones?! You mean, this full-term baby could actually be born today? Blimey, it's a good job you told me, I clearly haven't read enough over the last nine months or attended enough antenatal appointments to have any idea what is likely to happen at the culmination of this life changing event!"

But then again, maybe my ever increasing nerves are getting the better of me and snapping at well-meaning pensioners isn't the best idea!
                                                                     
With parenthood imminent, meanwhile, I've found myself glued to the Conservative Party Conference this week as debate rages over the coalition government's plans to scrap child benefit for those earning over £44,000.

Are cuts necessary? Yes, I can't argue with the fact that the country's in somewhat of a financial mire at the moment and we need to tighten the purse strings. Is the child benefit proposal fair? Absolutely not. It's outrageous that a single income family with one parent earning £45,000 is denied child benefit, while a double income family earning £88,000 can rinse the system for the full whack.

I sense, however, that there might be some subtle backtracking along Whitehall in the months ahead, so I'm not going to set to work on my picket plackard just yet!

Closer to home this week, Mrs B has been enduring baby feet to the ribs. Indeed, it appears that our son or daughter will be born with Size 10s if the size of the various protrusions are anything to go by!

Let's just hope the government doesn't impose a tax on shoe leather anytime soon!