Having children is a personal choice, so why should parents be subsidised for it? 353



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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…

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  1. Now there are a couple of generations who have been raised to believe that govt handouts for having children (and anything else) is “their right”!!!! Goes hand-in-hand with some who make visiting Centelink their career, expect the govt. to look after them, and demand that tax-payers “respect” them!!

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    • Now there are a couple of generations who have been raised to believe that govt handouts for being old (and anything else) is “their right”!!!! Goes hand-in-hand with some who make visiting Centelink their retirement, expect the govt. to look after them, and demand that tax-payers “respect” them!!
      Sort of makes things look different, doesn’t it, lol.

    • Andrew, forget your capitalist take on this. If a society cannot look after its very young and very old, then what is the point. The trouble with society today is that everything is measured by the $. I am of a very mature age and have never known the world to be so generally angry and hateful as individuals and rightfully disenchanted younger generation in most nations. Why? False values of materialism. How about a little compassion to cushion society. Blame achieves nothing.

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      • Lynn, well said. I have generally given up reading comments by people as they seem to think it’s their right to be rude and mean and say nasty things about others – it makes me sad and really cranky.
        I don’t know how I feel about this – I had a very small amount of child endowment when I had my babies, but I also see young parents struggling with what is a much harder world to live in.

    • How about credits for income tax paid ? You pay none you get none! I’m sick of paying for those you pay none

    • Linda your turn will come no problem!!!! And if nobody paid for you BAD LUCK ISNT’ IT?? Selfish, righteous people who do not know what real democratic society means!! Also Andrew and Pauline you should be ashamed of yourselves!!!

    • Unfortunately Andrew, compulsory superannuation was not available for working people, unless you worked for the government back in the day. We paid our taxes, did not receive handouts from the government, did not claim unemployment benefits, received a pittance in child endowment and were gateful for that. We (the pre-baby-boomers) have more than paid our dues, bought our homes, raised our families, all without assistance. Do not begrudge us the meagre amount of our pension, just because you may or may not be self funded.

    • Retirees have worked all their life and payed their taxes so why shouldn’t they expect something back Andrew Mountford? There was no such thing as super in my working days or any other benefit…we could only get what we could afford which was mostly second hand things and a housing commission home.

    • Touché Pauline Weatherby and let’s not forget to add, many of us went to war, went through a depression afterwards, children born shortly after WW2, our mums had to give up work for the returned service men, worked hard in gardens, took in laundry, reared children, no such thing as crèches or childcare. If both our parents worked granny looked after us. We had second hand bikes, no iPads, mobiles or TV. Widows pension and no family benefit. So people like Andrew have no bloody idea just how tough it was on our parents. As for us at 16 most had a job either full time or part time, no bloody new start payments for us, we had to work or live off our parents. Not like today, kids leave school, get a new start benefit, live at home bludges of their parents and whine, all have mobiles, Internet, designer jeans and have a darn car. And whinge, whinge and whinge how hard done by they are. Get a life.

    • Claudia, it would be nice if you could possibly explain why I should be ashamed of myself. I have worked and sacrificed for many years. My husband has done the same, working 3 jobs at a time in order to keep our family going. Our children all work, pay their taxes, raise their children and our grandchildren do the same — some of them also put their lives on the line to protect others. Do not presume to remark that I and many others should feel shame. I am proud of myself, my husband, our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. We are survivors, as are thousands more.

  2. the young parents of today want everything NOW, they’re living beyond their means, what we have now has taken 45 yrs to obtain, which is least than some of these young people today, we saved and got things gradually, had 2nd hand furniture when we got started, 2 yrs before we could afford a new bed when we had for more than 30 yrs….

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    • absolutely Kathryn. Nowadays, most kids have “everything” by the time their 13 or younger, and then having nothing to look forward to. No wonder kids don’t want to leave home, and fend for themselves, they can’t afford to maintain the lifestyle that their parents have provided. Sadly too, they’ve grown up in a “disposable’ world, and even more sadly, ITS NOT THEIR FAULT !!! Try taking these “things” off kids, and parents would be the worst in the world….awful situation….should never have happened in the first place !!! Rant over

    • Parents today want their kids to “have” what they didn’t when they grew up, the only thing they probably got they didn’t pass on to their kids is disipline and respect. Such a shame that didn’t happen, life would have been very different today for them

    • Spot on Kathryn, I see countless homes that I could only dream of in my 20s – these days it seems you’re looked down upon unless you have it all from the outset. Unfortunately this comes at a cost.
      I built each of the 3 homes we’ve owned (not a builder tho), our first home was 40ft x 24ft 2br, and we moved into it before the weatherboarded were on, no plaster on the internal walls, no kitchen but a camp stove & 25yo fridge. At least we had a flush toilet! You never hear of it today, but it was common up until the GST came in.
      That’s when greed became fashionable and prices literally doubled. What happened to the 10% increase? Simple need versus greed.

  3. I could not agree more.
    We brought our first home when the interest rates were 17% with No first home buyers grant.
    Had 2 kids with No baby bonus.
    And did not complain once. It was near down bum up.

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  4. It’s not so simple. Both parents these days have to work to pay these huge mortgages. Child care has become out of reach for the average worker, so what are they to do? The houses they buy come with all the bells and whistles and are fully financed, but that traps them. According to his suggestion there would be no future generation if they ” followed their responsibility”! It’s a very different world from when we were bringing up our kids. I don’t resent paying my taxes towards child care subsidy.

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    • And that’s the problem. They expect all the “bells and whistles”. They live beyond their means and expect the taxpayer to subsidise them

    • They bought that on themselves because they were not content with a 13 square home they had to have a 20 square home with a bedroom for every child and new furniture so of course homes went up in price because the last 3 generations wanted the lot were not content to start small.

    • Buy a smaller, more humble house without the bells & whistles & save their own money for an upgrade.

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      • Jane, I remember parting with a really solid table we bought when our oldest was a baby. It was late last year and it almost broke my heart. It was our first piece of new furniture and so solid. We had to cut it in half to get it down the stairs. (Can’t even remember how we got it up.☺ Probably removalists.) He is forty one now. We bought our first house for $6000, in 1975, had second hand everything and my husband had two jobs and CMF. We had to be practical. I still love second hand furniture and older houses too. They have character and there are trees.

    • Yes we didn’t get our 1 st and only home until I was 49, we are still in it, we would love something nicer but it’s all we can afford, it’s only 11.5 squares

    • I really resent my tax contribution going to mind peoples children, their goal being to live ‘higher on the hog’ than the people paying for minding.

  5. We recieved absolutely nothing for our children from the Government. My wife stopped work to look after them. We started with a small house and bought a second hand fridge and TV. We set aside the little Super we could out of our own income.
    Current parents are involved in wealth creation at taxpayer expense and now the Government say that baby boomers superannuation is a tax dodge that should be penalized. ..well…hullo…

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    • Yes, Hugh, how dare the gov make boomers suffer at the hand of pandering to the likes of pot smoking, drug taking, cigarette smoking, unemployed people who don’t contribute in any way to this country. We all know of the social security scams draining our welfare system…One family I know, he actually works, for a low income, she (different surname) received supporting mothers allowance, with their 4 kids, live in housing commission, with rental subsidy, health care card, drink daily, and to their own admission smoke at least $30 worth daily. Multiply that by tens of thousands of people…. nauseating isn’t it

    • I agree, Hugh and Stephanie, we have some super, but not what the experts say we need to survive till our demise, without some sort of pension. But we WORKED for ours, no benifits received here throughout our lives.

    • Exactly Norma. We don’t have enough super to survive till our demise either. Back then, even the new home buyer’s grant was a scam in our day. The banks would only lend on new houses – and all the new houses were over the amount that would qualify for a grant. My brother was more savvy. He paid xx for the house so it was under the amount and would qualify for the grant – then he had a separate cheque he paid “for the painting”

    • I as a self employed tradie couldn’t even get that $900 stimulus payment – why? Because I didn’t earn enough to pay tax that year! Why not? Too much time off work due to illness. Yet countless payments were duplicated, paid to deceased persons or just plain rorted.
      Thanks for nothing as usual.

    • I agree with your comment. Except I think that its better for our country to encourage people to have children rather than increasing the immigration of children born outside of Australia and believing that they are coming here for the same purpose as did the immigrants from the 50’s. If the encouragement means subsidizing those children to be born of Australians here, then we should do that. Many young Australians are choosing to have none or one child and that spells danger for the future.

    • And now WE’RE the ones who were so much better off than parents today! Give me a break, try going without the latest of everything, the biggest house and everything else that seems to be so necessary these days. WE went without until we could afford it!

  6. We paid our taxes & receive pensions when we retire, parents of today won’t receive pensions & have to work until they are 70, so what will they receive for paying taxes through out their working life ( and taxes are so high now) I have no problem with them receiving help if they qualify, the cost of living is so much higher for family’s these days.

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      • Hi Don.
        I think it is really sad too, that so many older people who should be enjoying their later years are raising their grandchildren while their children work and some of them look so tired. I wonder if their children take a good long look at their parents and wonder just how well they would be if they had some relaxation time. Some members of society are very selfish.

    • I think your out of touch with reality, taxes are very LOW today, back in the 70’s through to 82 I was paying 67 cents in every dollar I earned,I wish I had been paying the measly amount they pay today.

    • Also about pensions, an Act was passed in Parliament back in 1949, and is still in place that 5% of you income was taxed to go into a retirement fund for FUTURE PENSIONS and this is still being done today it has never stopped the only thing that changed was as usual our pollies couldn’t keep their hands off it and in 1959 they redirected the fund into internal revenue so Australians are still taxed that 5% extra for their pensions, so don’t believe everything the likes of Hocking tell you about a persons pension, it JUST ISN”T TRUE>

  7. I agree with the statement that parents shouldn’t be subsidised . I think it’s a sign of the current trend where you must have the best and latest. Like you Kathryn we had 2nd hand mostly and were happy with out lot until we saved money to get new things.

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