So granny and grandad’s days of earning a few euros while looking after their delightful grandchildren will soon be over – because of the amount of money it is costing the taxpayer.
On the one hand it does seem absurd to pay relatives to look after their own flesh and blood.
After all, grandparents have traditionally had a role in raising their grandchildren, especially in societies based around extended families, so why should they suddenly get cash?
On the other hand, why on earth should anyone expect grandparents to look after their children’s offspring. You finish raising one family and before you know it you are being expected to start all over again.
And today’s grandparents are often too busy working or doing their own thing to devote hours a day to a five-year-old, just so mum and dad can go off to work.
So you could say it is perfectly reasonable that they expect some sort of financial compensation.
In fact, the really absurd thing about the government’s attempts to formalise such childcare arrangements is the introduction of the middle man, the agency that mediates between grandparent and offspring – and charges €45 a month for doing so.
If ever an unnecessary, indeed bogus, industry was created, this is it. Ripe for the chop indeed.
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