New Scheme To Reward Children For Walking To School
I've never made a secret of the fact that politics is way beyond me. Maybe I'm too trusting, too naïve or just plain not smart enough, but I can never remember who promised what, to whom and who actually delivered on it or not.
But I have been paying attention, lately, as services have been cut, and these might affect us. Our Friday morning Bookstart sessions, for example, are among our favourite activities. It's a morning out with other children and activities that doesn't cost me anything – in comparison to every other group we attend where there's always a fee. Losing Bookstart would be unfortunate for us, and isolating for so many of the other mums and toddlers who attend.
Losing the 'Health in Pregnancy' grant is a great loss too. Last pregnancy, that £190.00 paid for my antenatal classes. I'm confident it would have come in handy should we have another child any time soon.
Not to mention the Child Trust fund. I remember thinking how pithy that £250.00 was against the almost £600.00 a Norwegian friend receives for every child, but in the face of losing it for a future child, I find myself wondering how we'll be able to put that much money away so that both children have the same.
The list goes on, and I'm sure I'm not the only one disappointed with these losses. No, we're not entitled to it, but it was rather nice knowing I was getting a little something back after years of paying into the tax system.
In light of all this, I find the latest brainwave rather irritating. Reported by the Daily Mail in a tag-on story, ministers “gave their blessing to schemes that reward pupils with Topshop vouchers and free cinema tickets” for walking to school.
The report, unveiled by Cabinet Office minister Oliver Letwin and compiled by the government’s Behavioural Insight Team reportedly endorses a scheme in which teenagers receive a £5 Topshop voucher if they walk to school eight times and a cinema ticket for five trips.
To make it work, every school in the country will be offered access to technology that would allow children to use swipe cards to track their journeys. These journeys would garner points which can be exchanged for commercial purchases.
I'm with Emma Boon of the TaxPayer's Alliance, who said: ‘It’s worrying that the Government is thinking of spending taxpayers’ money on these sorts of schemes at a time when there is such huge pressure on public finances. We shouldn’t have to bribe children into walking to school.'
Honestly, is this where our money should be spent? What do you think of this idea?
No Mad Drivers - Caro's Lines @ Flickr
Children Walking to School - Dey @ Flickr
School Zone Road Traffic Sign - Ian Britton @ Freefoto.com
TOPICS: News and Recalls