Come with me to 20 years in the future. Everyone is still everyone but Baby shall be called Youngest Child for the purposes of this exercise because calling her Baby would be ridiculous.
*wavy lines and xylophone music*
Scene: Slightlysuburbanmum and I are sat under a tartan blanket, I’m drinking Sanatogen
I get up slowly and answer the door to Youngest Child.
Me: Oh hello love. Nice to see you. I didn’t realise you were coming for a visit. Come in, I’ll put the kettle on.
Youngest Child: Er, well, the thing is Dad it’s not really a visit.
Me: But you’ve got a suitcase with you?
YC: Er, yeah. I need to move back in.
Me: Oh. You do know that Boy moved back in 2 years ago? He’s taken over the spare bedroom already. I suppose you could kip on the sofa bed for a bit? Come in and we’ll talk about it but try not to wake your Mother up. She’s crashed out after the Sanatogen and we’ve both got work in the morning.
YC: SANATOGEN? What the fuck are you drinking that stuff for? It’s HORRIBLE. What happened to the St Emillion?
Me: Oh dear, you have been immersed in your degree haven’t you dear. Well, two years ago Boy moved back in. Yes I know he got a first in Mathematics from Cambridge but these days that isn’t even good enough for an intern-ship. With no job and the degree course finished he came back while he got himself sorted. Shame we’d moved out to this two bed cottage in the middle of nowhere with very little job opportunities but then after the collapse of my pension in the crash of ’15 and it’s tax raiding by the DEAR LEADER, not to mention the increasing of state retirement age to 108 we really had very little choice. Do you know when I was just middle-aged there was this brilliant scheme called Housing Benefit whereby he could have rented somewhere near to where there were lots of jobs for him. Soon even a Cambridge grad will find SOMETHING and he could have started working and paying tax and….Never mind. Because a few hillbillies took the piss publically out of this system the DEAR LEADER abolished this for anyone under 25 most of who weren’t taking the piss but trying to make a start in life.
YC: You shouldn’t say this DEAR LEADER stuff out loud you know. *points nervously at huge picture on wall of David Cameron with suspiciously blinking eye*
Me: Oh I’m beyond caring. What can they take from me now? With no pension supporting an extra adult has reduced us to Sanatogen and the herbs I find growing in the garden. Boy drank the wine cellar. I think he had depression because not only did he have no chance of finding a job but we kept interrupting him and Emma during sexytime. She left him for a 54 year old Junior Accountant. He had his own studio flat that one of The Great Landlords didn’t want anymore. Anyway why do you want to move back.
YC: Well Dad, having just graduated I too have found the only work I can get is work that doesn’t actually pay you a wage. Did I say Sanatogen was disgusting by the way? It’s not, it’s lush. Give us some foraged Rocket would you?
At this point slightlysuburbanmum wakes up and silently heads for a shift making Princess Diana dolls to sell to Russian tourists.
Seriously. Stop HB for under 25s? Really? Because it will save us 2 billion a year or because there are a few “undeserving” cases (yes we are already back at the deserving and undeserving poor stage) highlighted by Jermy Kyle and The Express (highlightable of course because they are the exception not the rule).
If I was 21 and British and bright right now the first thing on my mind would be moving to Australia. Even if their government came up with something so monumentally stupid at least the weather’s nice.