Saturday, December 5, 2015

Nanny is the New Niquab

Distractionary Politics at its Worst

Am I surprised at how little time it took for a "scandal" to emerge about Justin Trudeau. Um, no. In our current political climate it's more surprising that it took this long.

But this is the best they can come up? Really? He said that he wouldn't accept UCCB because he didn't need it. But now taxpayers are paying for his child care.

Now, I don't spend much time on social media anymore, but I'm told that it was the CBC who originally broke the story. If true, it makes it all the more disappointing the way that this was spun. And believe me, this was spun.

Trudeau Children's Nannies Being Paid for by Taxpayers

Justin Trudeau Billing Taxpayers for Nannies is Hypocritical, Lisa Raitt says

"Rich" Justin Trudeau Should Pay for His Own Nannies, Rona Ambrose says

Funny thing that none of this hew and cry wants to mention? The Prime Minister has always received an allowance for running his household. This is not new. Each PM then chooses the staff that fits his (or her) family. The staff usually includes maids, groundskeepers, drivers, and yes, child care. No one has said that the Trudeaus are exceeding this budget. So is the expectation that he should use less of the budget than any other Prime Minister would be expected to, so that he can pay for his own children's care, or should he just hire other staff that he deems unnecessary to use up the budget and then pay the nannies out of pocket.

And, let's look at this logically: if between the two nannies, they are covering all day, every day, that is 168 hours per week. Given that would mean they were each working 84 hours per week, I don't think that's possible, but let's just go with it. For the sake of math, let's say that it's half day shift, half night shift. So at the highest reported rate, it would be $15/hr x 84 hrs, and $13/hr x 84 hrs, which comes out to $1260 and $1092, or $2352 per week. That comes to $122,304 per year. Over four years, it's $489,216. Rich or not, that's a lot of money for most families. For taxpayers, it means you would be paying approximately $0.02 of your taxes towards the cost of the nannies over the four-year period.

By contrast, Stephen Harper spent $1.2 million shipping armoured limos for a trip to India in 2012 even after the Indian government offered to provide them.

But the truth is that Justin Trudeau is the second youngest Prime Minister in history, and he has a very young family. Stephen Harper's children were six and nine when he was elected, and would have been in school full-time, making childcare during the day, at least, less of an issue. The truth is, I have no idea who looked after them when they weren't in school, and I don't really care, as for all intents and purposes they seem to have been looked after. It's none of my business. Before that, no Prime Minister had required child care since the early days of Brian Mulroney's tenure. And he got flack for it, too, so he ended up calling the nannies "maids." Personally, I like "special assistant" better.

No one has said if Justin Trudeau did, in fact, donate his Tory UCCB bribe cheque to charity. No one has said that the Trudeaus used taxpayer money for their nannies prior to moving into Rideau Cottage. It isn't likely that they will when they move out (assuming that they even need child care by that point). But Prime Minister of Canada is not a "normal" job by any means, and neither is the (unpaid) job of being spouse of the Prime Minister. The Trudeaus can be called away on a moment's notice, for days at a time. The Prime Minister can be called on at any time day or night in the case of an emergency. And the Trudeau children deserve to have consistent, loving care when their parents can't be with them. We owe them that much.

PS - I have more to say about the REAL issues we should be looking at when it comes to child care, but I'll save that for another post. 

No comments:

Post a Comment