Democratic Senator David Leyonhjelm has questioned whether taxpayers without children should have the responsibility of supporting those with children.
Dear Senator Leyonhjelm,
I thought of you today as I dropped my daughter off to pre-school and headed off to work with my two older children in tow. I write this to you now while they buzz about my feet on the last day of school holidays. There were no places at holiday care, you see, so here we are, trying to get through a day as a working parent.
And I thought you might appreciate my view on your suggestion that taxpayers shouldn’t be funding the child care rebate. Because I have a view. A strong one.
The background for those eavesdropping into this piece of personal correspondence between myself and the Liberal Democratic Senator David Leyonhjelm is an interview he gave to Fairfax Media in which he questioned the responsibility of people without children support those with children.
The Senator said that having children is a personal choice that shouldn’t be subsidised – in particular by increases to the child care rebate, which he plans to block in the Senate.
Senator Leyonhjelm said Australians who did not have children were being increasingly taxed to support the choices of others. “A lot of people don’t have children,” he said. “A lot of people have children who have grown up and moved on. There’s no good argument that all of those people should subsidize people who do have children.”
Unfortunately, Senator, you are wrong. In fact, there aren’t that many good reasons why people without children SHOULDN’T support people with children.
Well, actually, you are right in at least one respect. None of us HAD to have children, did we?
But imagine a society without those of us parents who are willing to take the risk of exposing ourselves to the terrible twos and tantrums, endless ferrying to and from birthday parties and the eternal question “can-I-have-a?”….
If it was purely a financial argument, there actually isn’t much incentive to be a parent, I can assure you, Senator. Have the seen the price of those in-app purchases? Have you read about how the humble Freddo Frog has nearly halved in size yet stayed the same price? Have you ever been shopping in Woollies when the Dominos promotion is on?
There are no fiscal benefits in having kids.
But I will let you in on a secret. We don’t do it for the cash.
It’s tricky to explain what the actual incentive is, and on days like today when it is blowing a gale out and two bored under-eights are tearing each other apart, you certainly question whether or not you did the right thing.