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Published 26 October 2012 06:34, Updated 29 October 2012 10:20
While newborns are an expense, the overwhelming view among mothers (both working outside and inside the home) is that greater support is needed as children get older.
There has been some expected bleating this week about the federal government’s reduction of the Baby Bonus from certain media commentators and politicians.
What they either don’t know or don’t understand is that the Baby Bonus was never a particularly popular policy, even among the women who claimed it.
Like so many mums I hear from in my research, I happily claimed the Baby Bonus, at that time as a lump sum. It went to clear some debt on the credit card and pay for a few baby and non-baby related expenses and disappeared pretty quickly. I would have preferred maternity leave to the bonus any day.
Like other mums, I was happy to take the money but wondered if it was the best use of public funds. Consider this comment from a woman in a group I conducted in early 2007.
“The baby bonus is the biggest waste of taxpayers’ money. They should put it towards childcare for families or for when they start high school or for extended education after high school. Or why not put it back into the health care system?”
While newborns are an expense, the overwhelming view among mothers (both working outside and inside the home) is that greater support is needed as children get older, with their care, education and health expenses.
Lump sums from the government breed conspiracy theories about product and service providers hoping to capitalise on the fact new parents have more cash on hand.
“The baby bonus goes up and all the private obstetricians put on a $1000 extra fee,” is another refrain I hear in my research.
The Carbon Tax compensation package failed to trigger an upsurge in spending or a significant bump in the government’s approval ratings. So too, I expect, the diminution of the Baby Bonus won’t send shock waves through the electorate or unduly impact to profit margin of Baby Kingdom.
Cash splashes don’t seem to work like they used to.