The spat over the SNP’s child care proposal illustrates a fundamental problem with political debate in Scotland.
The discussion is all about how much it will cost and how it might influence the independence debate, while the vital underlying principle is overlooked.
Should the government be encouraging mothers to work instead of being at home with their children?
Should families prioritising full-time motherhood over money be taxed in order to subsidise the families where neither parent wishes to fully commit their time and energies to bringing up their children?
Do children benefit more from the undivided attention of a mother in their early years, or from increased disposable income?
Each family should be free to choose how to combine employment and child rearing, but current government policies all lean towards assisting twin working parents at the expense of full-time mums.