Sunday 16 December 2018

€33,600 cheers for Granny Grant

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

Before we shoot down the so-called Granny Grant, we should all think carefully about this. It emerged as the grant was fleshed out, very much off the top of the head and over the airwaves, that not only will it be available to all four grandparents of every child, but also to any other relative who looks after children.

I've been doing some maths on this. So I've figured out there are 168 hours in the week, per child. If, like me, you have two children, then that's a potential 336 hours a week where other people could be looking after your children. Indeed, when I thought about it, I realised that my kids are pretty much constantly in the care of various grandparents and relatives. From midnight on Monday, their Granny and Grandad sit over them watching them sleep and then waking them and accompanying them to school, where they stay with them until precisely 10am. You will note that the children need a relative each to look after them. Very difficult, my children. Very high maintenance. One-on-one care 24/7 required.

At 10am, their other grandparents come into the school to keep an eye on them and they stay with them, bringing them home and so forth, until exactly eight o'clock that night. The next 10 hours are covered by two of their many aunts and uncles. Changeover is at 6am so we don't even need to wake up for that. Everyone knows the drill. And on it goes until by the end of the week, it turns out that each child has been looked after by 16.8 relatives each. The .8 will be Great Aunt Martha, who everyone agrees is not the full shilling.

By my calculations that makes €33,600 we will be owed by the State. We will take delivery of the money, thanks very much, and we will pass it on to the various relations, all of whom, I promise you, exist.

If anyone doubts this self-assessment of my childcare, I say, can you prove otherwise? What is the Government going to do? Is Shane Ross going to come around to my house to see the situation? He's more than welcome. I have nothing to hide.

They may ask me if I ever look after my children myself, to which my answer would be that, like most men, I am still a child myself and therefore, my relatives, and those of my wife, insist that my access to the children is strictly supervised by a relative. So we need someone on hand at all times. My wife is a busy woman in and out of the home, so she prefers to have two others present at all times as well. Besides which, the children are used to company now, and they barely know us anymore.

We expect to have more time on our hands, with the money coming in, but I stress to Minister Ross that we will not be spending this with the children. They will be minded by 33.6 relatives at 10 hours apiece.

Sunday Independent

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