Tuesday, July 03, 2012
It's For The Children, Is It?
You go out and spend it.
Yes, but, that money they've given you is to be spent on the children. It's the Children's Allowance that's arrived.
So it's not to be spent on beer, no matter what it says in the sales flyer from Centra.
Centra has been made to apologize for their latest advertising campaign, which features a variety of foods that are marked down in price to celebrate Benefit Day.
It looks bad, to put beer into the mix when every responsible shop owner should be promoting the use of government funds to benefit the children, as intended.
Just because it's Ireland doesn't mean that the under-16s are drinking beer instead of milk. Although in some homes, it's certainly possible. And I'm not referring to the use of Guinness as an iron supplement, either.
What Centra's ad has done is to point out the fact that once the government lets go of the money, the recipient is free to spend it as they wish. All the fuss and flutter about cutting the benefit allowance as part of an austerity budget becomes a comedy when the taxpayers can point to the Centra advert and claim that the cuts are justified.
People don't work hard at their jobs to have their money given away to slackers for beer, when those hard-working taxpayers can't afford to buy beer themselves.
Regina Doherty, Fine Gael TD from Meath East, is upset with the advertisement, choosing to blame the industry. They've ignored the standards set by the government, she says, and implies that further regulation may be needed.
But consider the fact that it's the adults who have to go into a shop to buy the food that's being paid for by the benefit allowance. What shopkeeper doesn't know that you have to attract the adults, and not the children?
What vendor isn't aware that the adults don't spend every penny of the allowance on the children, but use some of it for themselves because there's nothing to stop them from doing so?
When the children are the ones to take responsibility for their own food purchases, Centra can be castigated for promoting cheap beer. But if children are taking responsibility for their own food purchases, it speaks of a far graver problem than an advertisement aimed at their parents.