Search This Blog

02 May 2008

The baby bonus

Not Fair: Nelson

"I would have thought that Mr Rudd - who's already tried to pick on seniors and carers - would find another group other than families to pick on and it's very, very important that Mr Rudd understands that every mother loves her baby and this should be an Australia where all babies are equal"
- Brendan Nelson

Let's just pull that apart for moment.

"already tried to pick on seniors and carers"
Now by this, presumably, Dr. Nelson is talking about Labor failing to confirm that it would maintain the carers benefit. They failed to confirm that they would continue to pay "exactly the same" benefits, its true - but I think the language of "picking on" is hyperbole.

"find another group other than families to pick on"
Apparently Dr Nelson believes Labor should be picking on someone - but not families.

"every mother loves her baby"
1. Is this true?
2. Even if it is - what about fathers? Does their love not matter? I thought we might have left the sexism behind with the Howard government - but apparently its just a Coalition thing.
3. Even ignoring the sexism of that statement - and assuming it to be true... So what? What on earth does that have to do with support payment policies? If other people's love a were a reason to give government support, that would change a lot of policy, I think.

"this should be an Australia where all babies are equal"
Exactly! It should be! And here's the news flash, Dr Nelson - it's not. Not all babies are born equal - some are born with a lot more in this world than others. And one way to improve that imbalance would be to means test the support given new parents, towards the cost of having babies.

If we means tested stuff like the baby bonus then babies born in Australia would be more equal, and we would be closer to Dr Nelson's dream.

Too Expensive: Turnbull

And, on the idea that working out the baby bonus payments would cost more than it would save in tax dollars... we already do these calculations (quite complicated one's) to work out the value of parent's child care / day care payments... we just need to start working it out a year or two earlier - it's simply an addition to a process that's already in place - not a brand new expense. Give me break.

Bring on the means testing - even if I lose my benefit. It won't cost much more than calculating family benefits does already - and it would actually make Australia much closer to Nelson's stated dream of all babies being equal.

Vote yes to a fairer system. Vote yes to means testing.

Some more sensible words

For a slightly more serious take on the reasons to means test (or get rid of the baby bonus all together) and what to do with the money saved - Andrew Leigh

No comments: