Technology: UK Social Media Mums Say No To Government

Hundreds of UK savvy on-line mums are taking to the social media airways and using technology to allow their voices of discontent be heard; since yesterday they have been busy posting, emailing and blogging their reactions to the UK’s government proposal to cut Child Benefit. It is clear that social media mums are not happy about the cuts with one mum making her feelings clear on Mumsnet.com, a social media platform saying, “We know there is a financial crisis. We know there will be cuts and we know everyone will be affected. But this is simply and obviously unfair. Is this the day the government will realise they have pushed decent, hard work families too far.”

About 1.2 million UK families - about 15% of recipients of child benefit - will lose out on payments currently worth £20.30 a week for the eldest child and £13.40 for subsequent children. The anger against these proposals centres on the injustice that certain types of families are being penalised and losing their Child Benefit, whilst others, with two working parents, are to be allowed to continue to receive the benefit. Findings show that the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mum when children are small is the ideal situation for 80 per cent of mothers. This proposal is seen by many as a direct strike on those families who have worked hard to get themselves into a position where one parent is the breadwinner while the other is a stay-at-home parent. Also hit are higher-earning single parents, who do not have the opportunity for two-family incomes and who pay all their childcare out of one salary. One mum posted online: “This announcement has left me in tears. I am a single mum, I work in the city and earn just over the higher income threshold (£46,000). Anyone living in London with children knows only too well, that £46,000 after tax, mortgage, childcare, bills, and food is just about a living wage. Taking this cash away is the tipping point to force working women like me out of decent jobs.”

Hours later Tim Loughton, the UK’s children's minister told Channel 4 News the move to cut the benefit from 1.2 million families might need revising, but later he turned to technology and wrote on Twitter that people were "over-excited" by his comments adding: "Calm down. Of course I'm not calling for review. Yes it's tough but fair." During the run-up to the UK’s general election earlier this year, both political parties courted the members of Mumsnet.com as they held great voting power and were key for both the parties to show off their family policy credentials and plans. Yet, currently as mums take to the digital airways and technology I wonder whether there will be a social media mum revolution which will get the UK government to rethink...government will realise that the hand that rocks the cradle, also tweets, types and uses technology and importantly has the majority of swing votes in marginal constituencies.

Photo Credit: Chris.P