When one becomes a parent, it is more often then not a planned and accounted for stage of life. Parenting brings a wide range of responsibilities from feeding another mouth, to providing some level of education to giving someone else love and support through self-sacrifice. Most are educated about the choice to become a parent and at the end of the day; it is that – a choice. There’s no rule to say that everyone has children and the government certainly don’t regulate or force the task of parenthood upon us. So why do so many mothers of this day and age expect to be subsidised for their decision?
Liberal Democratic senator David Leyonhjelm shared this position on the matter publicly over the weekend and he makes some very good sense. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, while speaking about the topic of childcare costs and government funding for families, he said, “A lot of people don’t have children. A lot of people have children who have grown up and moved on. There’s no good argument that all of those people should subsidise people who do have children.”
Taxpayer dollars should go into the infrastructure and support of Australians – to support across the board costs that we all face with the aim of making our lives better. This means that areas like education and health should be prioritised, because they can make the biggest sustainable difference. The investments give back to the economy and to the people, they benefit the individuals and the country. The calls for more childcare support don’t quite fit in this category.
Parenting comes with planned expenses and unplanned expenses. Either way it is a parent’s responsibility to front those expenses – because their choices lead them there. It’s like a senior claiming that they need extra money to look after a pet or to support their social calendar. Sure it makes them a little bit happier and frees them up, but these are decisions that they made independently. The government shouldn’t have any obligation to support them. The reality is that subsidies to childcare for parents mean that there is something else that is losing out. It could be education and it could be health, it could be foreign aid or it could be funding for organisations offering mental health support.
When it is put into this kind of perspective, it seems as though the biggest net benefit for the Australian population, the economy and the future of our country suggests the money is better off elsewhere. And if parents complain we have a right to ask why. Why do they feel this is an unjust decision? When baby boomers were parents there was so little help outside the realm of friends and family.
The role of parent came with an expensive price tag and that was something that everyone planning on parenting knew. There was no government handout so it came down to either managing expenses by making sacrifices in lifestyle or bringing in extra income by working flexible jobs as a couple and possibly holding multiple positions.
No one else in the Australian population is legally subsidised for personal choice and those who do are considered to rort the system. So why should suddenly, the government allocate funds with a better use elsewhere, to those who want it simply because they can’t manage their own responsibilities?
Share your thoughts, do you agree with Senator Leyonhjelm? Do you think childcare should be subsidised? Share your thoughts in the comments below…