mercredi 1 octobre 2014

France cuts family and childcare benefits


Interesting topic! France is well known in Europe for having a 'high' fertility rate of at least 2 kids per couple, compared to only 1 point something for every other European country (except Ireland)...


France’s healthy birth rate – the second highest in Europe after Ireland’s – has long been attributed to pro-fertility policies such as free post-natal care, subsidized daycare, allowances for each child born (prime de naissance) and discounts on a range of services for large families.
So the alarm bells were ringing even louder this week in the aftermath of an announcement by the government that it intends to reduce key family welfare benefits in a bid to save €700 million.Under the plans, parental leave will be cut, help in paying for childcare will be reduced for the more well-off, as will the famous "prime de naissance".
Critics have slammed the government for measures they claim will only act to dissuade couples from having children.
“Of course these measures will affect the birth rate. If the state doesn't offer help it's clear that poorer families won’t be able to afford childcare, which will put them off having children,” Thierry Vidor, from the organization Familles de France told The Local.
“This government is taking us back to the nineteenth century,” he added.

mardi 30 septembre 2014

Top 10 countries with best quality tap water

Over the years I've noticed a snobbery factor with drinking/not drinking tap water. People think it's bad, or low quality, or unclean or whatever but it's not! I was brought up to drink tap water only if it's boiled or filtered but I'm like 'screw that'. I've been drinking tap water since my teens...

In all Anglo and Western European countries the water is PERFECTLY SAFE to drink. So you don't need to waste money by buying bottled water... unless you really want to of course.

So, without further ado, here is the list! All in Europe, except New Zealand. I'm curious where Australia is on the list...

1. Switzerland
2. Norway
3. Luxemburg
4. France
5. Austria
6. Italy
7. UK
8. Sweden
9. Germany
10. New Zealand

Because I'm all for ecological and environmental sustainability here are a few infographics I've found on the subject:

One thing I have noticed about tap water in (Western) Europe though (vs tap water in Australia) is that it has a high calcium content. Annoyingly, you get white deposits around the opening of your tap, and inside your kettle. I've heard that this is not so good for washing your hair though :( but I'm not rich enough to take a shower and wash my hair with bottled water.. LOL!

PS I DON'T recommend you drink tap water in most other countries though.

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