EDITOR’S COMMENT: Government needs to tackle the big school holiday scam, not persecute parents!

JUST when you think politicians are finally beginning to understand the ever-increasing pressures upon the family budget, they go and prove us all wrong.

We’ve all become accustomed to the far-reaching tentacles of Parliament slithering out from White Hall and into our everyday lives, usually in order to pick our pockets, but the latest episode of ridiculousness is raining down upon ordinary working families – no surprise there, then.

Basically, if you as a parent have the temerity to take your child out of school for a week or two during term time, no matter how good their overall attendance and achievement record, Big Brother will unleash Hades upon you.

So out of touch are the tweeds in power, that they have set a fine of £60 per child if their rules are broken: bear in mind that a week in a caravan on the coast can almost double in price during the school holidays.

If a family of four were to travel abroad, it would cost more than the Government’s misguided financial penalty to simply reserve your seats on the plane. Chances are, the immoral hike in price for the overall holiday package would sting said family for hundreds of pounds, if not getting on for four figures for a fortnight in the sun.

The Government is tackling this issue from the wrong side. If hard-working, diligent pupils across the country are being taken out of school in order to spend some quality time with people who dearly love and cherish them –but hardly get to see them on a day-to-day basis – then so what?

What would make more sense would be to stop travel companies, airlines, hotels et al ripping off families who have no choice but to travel at certain moments in the calendar. Instead of issuing paltry fines, whilst no-doubt raking in their own share of extra tax from over-inflated holiday prices, they should draw up legislation to stop the big holiday scam!

by James Mitchinson, Editor