Thursday, October 09, 2008

Paid Maternity Leave and the Welfare State

Rather belatedly, a few points about the proposed taxpayer funded maternity / paternity / parental leave that made headlines last week.

>> It is somewhat of a paradox that the proposal comes from the Productivity Commission because the policy is fundamentally, unproductive. The current system already increases the disincentive to join the workforce without adding this new component.

>> Wayne Swan was correct to hose down expectations about delivering the policy in next year’s budget, if anything Pensioners deserve any surplus revenue that may be available.

>> Why should those that keep the nation ticking, namely hard working taxpayers, be penalized for being self sufficient and not putting more strain on our education and health sectors?

>> Why so much emphasis on welfare; is it not enough that family assistance payments are already equivalent to almost 3% of GDP up from 1% in the 1960’s, 1.5% in the 1970’s and 1.6% in the 1980’s? Moreover, spare me all the loose definitions; it is and remains, state provided welfare!

>> The number of families receiving more in handouts than they pay in income tax has jumped dramatically over the past 4 years with the income-tax-free club now covering 42.2 per cent of the nation's 9.754 million families.

>> The proposition encourages a previously ingrained culture of dependence, and raises concerns about work ethics in Australia.

There was a time when welfare was viewed differently, as a way of helping those who honestly (remember that word) could not assist themselves, thus preventing them from falling through the cracks - it seems the new paradigm has broadened progressively. Let us hope this ideologically enthused proposal is quickly buried.

Listen up Messrs. Rudd, Swan, if you want to be genuinely reformist make the hard decisions and give Australia a system that rewards work, effort, enterprise, and cuts welfare waste along with the massive administration back of it, otherwise step up Mr. Turnbull….

Finally, the proposal calls for pair maternity leave at minimum wage levels, last I checked that was around $545 per week or nearly twice that which aged pensioners receive…

1 comment:

MK said...

"It is somewhat of a paradox that the proposal comes from the Productivity Commission because the policy is fundamentally, unproductive."

It's funny how in today's world these organisations actually do the very opposite of what their titles imply.

It's good that Swan has hosed this down, for a while i was wondering if he has a clue about anything.

Putting aside the fact that the taxpayer is going to have to cough up because people choose to have children, the employers still have to pay the super for the employee while they're on leave.

I guess some big companies might not have a big problem with that but small business owners cannot afford any extra money and it'll hit them. But then those dreaming up more and more creative ways to spend other people's money don't worry about such things.

For them not to get paid out of the taxpayers teat things will have to get significantly worse than now.