I've been taking a little break from the internet, but one thing that has caught my eye and drawn me in is the debate over whether Katie Price should be accepting school transport for her disabled son Harvey.
I may be late jumping in, but I feel I have to have my say, and I'm afraid that many are not going to agree with me.
I do not believe that Katie Price is a scrounger. Yes, she may have plenty of money but what she is taking advantage of is a service for her disabled son, which is what he is entitled to. It doesn't mean that because he is taking it that someone else is missing out, it means that he is entitled to it just as any other child in his position would be whether their mother was rich or not.
So why do some people have to fight for the service?
It's the way it works, it depends on the area, the school, the budget, the child. My eldest child was entitled to school transport. I was a single working mother, he was 16 years old and offered a place at a special college which was a fair distance from home. At the time it was what was best for him, and the closet available school. I was not made to feel a scrounger for taking the service, it was just like any other service available.
I did not see the discussion between Katie Price and Katie Hopkins on Celebrity Big Brother, but I do not believe that what Katie Price was saying was that the transport provided costs £1000 per day. I think that was her estimate of how much it would cost her to take over from the service. It would be a two way journey twice a day, with medical staff on hand. Of course it would cost a lot more than the service that Harvey actually receives.
When my son first went to his new school it took a couple of weeks for the transport to be arranged and in that time I had to take him in myself. It cost me a small fortune in extra petrol for the journey and I had to take annual leave from work because of the time it took. I was so relieved when the transport took over. I can understand why Katie Price appreciates it too.
I'm not sure which came first, the home in which Katie Price and her family lives or the school that Harvey attends but I gather that there is some distance and it has angered some people that he has to travel so far. These special schools are difficult to find and if a child is settled then it would be a shame to uproot them if moving house. Similarly, it would be difficult to uproot a child from a home they are settled to move them closer to a school.
So now we get on to the moral question. Is it morally right to take a service offered for free if you have plenty of money? This is what saddens me most. Why is it so wrong to take something that is offered. If you give, then taking is okay too, surely. Pay your taxes, take the services offered. You do it every time you go to the GP or hospital, when you call a fire engine or the police. Or maybe if you have plenty of money you should make sure you pay for each of these services privately too?