We didn't need this ritual humiliation to learn that DJs can be devastated, too
But is our compassion really so dulled that we needed to see the tears in order to understand that they, too, might be feeling devastated?
Tax deductions for foetuses
Legislators in Michigan in the US have been considering amending the law to allow parents to claim tax deductions for foetuses. The proposal would alter the state’s tax code to include foetuses in utero as “dependants”, which would effectively extend to them from 12 weeks the same benefits that apply to children.
On the face of it, supporting women during pregnancy with health expenses sounds like a good idea, but this proposal is problematic – not least because of the confusion involved were it to emerge later that one foetus was in fact two, or several; or if something went wrong with the pregnancy after 12 weeks.
Critics of the bill, which had its first hearing in the House Tax Policy Committee at the end of November, claim that rather than being designed to help pregnant women, the Michigan Republican party’s real intention is to give unborn foetuses the status of equal citizen, opening the door to recognising them in criminal or health law.
Opponents also point out that the party’s insistence that it wants to help women with the medical expenses that come with motherhood is undermined by the fact that, just last year, the same group tried to eliminate the earned income tax credit – a benefit that applies to children.
Another political slogan for the scrapheap
The annual respite care grant: cut by €325. State maternity benefit: treated as taxable income. Child benefit: cut by €10. Drugs-payment scheme: changes mean families to pay €144 per month. Back-to- school allowance: cut by one third.
As the dust settles on last week’s Budget, we’re left with one question: is the job of caring for our most vulnerable valued by this Government? In the roll call of the most hollow political cliches of the past decade – and there are many – the battle cry of “protecting the most vulnerable” is up there with “rent is dead money” and “we’re in for a soft landing”.