The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area



Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > Paying mothers to have children must stop > Comments

Paying mothers to have children must stop : Comments

By Jason Falinski, published 11/1/2006

Jason Falinski argues payments tied to the production of children promote harmful social outcomes.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. ...
  7. 17
  8. 18
  9. 19
  10. All
I think it's a pity that women might think that raising children on welfare is the best option they can find because it is very difficult. If the cost-benefits analysis economists are so fond of is applied to this situation then unpartnered women must think that they have no hope of better income or status through any other mechanism for them to 'choose' raising children in poverty above other options. That suggests Australia has a long way to go in breaking down barriers to opportunities for women without independent means, beyond bearing children.

I think a lot of children are born to partnered women whose relationships then divide and perhaps the capacity of men to become successful long term partners could be a policy goal so that women are not forced to rely on welfare to raise their children. Having said that, job availability and security must be an issue for all families partnered or unpartnered in terms of the opportunities they can provide for their children.
Posted by RosieWilliams, Wednesday, 11 January 2006 1:28:16 PM
Find out more about this user Visit this user's webpage Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
While I agree generally that Becker's cost-benefit analysis notions are interesting, one should not assume from his arguments that we all have a tendency to commit a crime. If it were so then many more, perhaps most of us, would speed, take things from shops when there was no danger of being caught, and so on. There are causes of 'crime' and of single mothers having children, or more children. We need to address those, not simply rely on the virtuous consequences of having more police on the roads and on the beat, or of abolishing benefits to single mothers.
Posted by Don Aitkin, Wednesday, 11 January 2006 1:36:20 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Not only are single parents paid more for the number of children, they are also paid more for the proportion of time that children are in their care.

In my view a cause of more harm to children (and their fathers) than paying by the number of children. In many cases children spend less time in the care of their fathers because mum gets less money from the father and the government if the kids spend more time with the father.

The criteria for welfare and child support do not appear to take into account the reasons for any imbalance in residency, the mum who is left with the kids does not as far as I know get any more than the mum who fights a long and expensive residency battle with a father who wants to care for his kids or the mum who chooses to move to an area with low employement prospects away from the fathers employment.

A simple fix to this one
- Both parents to be equally financially responsible for the care of their children. If either parent is unable to meet their share that is an issue between them and the government (and maybe should be a factor in residency considerations) not the problem of the other parent.
- No financial assistance from the other parent or the government if the other parent is willing to care for the children (and no proven history of serious abuse or neglect).

The current system increases the bitterness for divorced couples as fathers are forced to pay someone to keep children away from that in many cases we would rather have the care of. It contributes to children being raised in households where the predominate income is welfare and child support. It deprives children of the things they can learn from fathers. It makes it very difficult for parents to move on from a failed relationship and increases the likelyhood of ongoing bitterness between the parents. It robs fathers of a significant proportion the role of fathers in raising their children.

R0bert
Posted by R0bert, Wednesday, 11 January 2006 2:12:41 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
How do we balance helping mothers raise their kids while preventing the money being used as a kind of incentive for mothers to have more children? We canít, thatís the point.

Every piece of policy has some consequence or reaction, whether that is social, political or environmental. That cannot be helped. I donít think it is a bad idea, just that some idiots may abuse the system, just like police tapping into DNA records. DNA records by themselves are not detrimental, but the abusers are. In the process of deceit, abusers lower the credibility of the system and make it worse for everyone else.

Social outcomes are just what the Treasurer wants though; for the money to be used as an incentive for mothers to have more children because of our declining birth rate. What he didnít count on was welfare-dependent mothers having more children for the sole purpose of getting more money. What to do? Youíre damned if you do and damned if you donít. The idea backfired.

But if we scrap payments for new mothers, will they be able to cope? Is the money useless anyway because it goes so fast, as there are so many expenses tied to the raising of children? Do some mothers piss away the money on pokies/holidays/shoes?

Itís a tricky area, but i think abolishing the money to new mothers is not the answer.
Posted by maria-lee, Wednesday, 11 January 2006 2:16:12 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
I am not sure quite how it works but drug users are sometimes provided benefits in the form of vouchers that can only be used for certain items such as food. Retailers are then able to reclaim the money if they meet the requirements. Maybe the baby bonus and other child related benefits could be issued in the same way as vouchers for food, baby products, child care or even education funds and other essentials. This way we can be sure that the bonus is only used to compensate the mother for costs incurred for the child.
Posted by sajo, Wednesday, 11 January 2006 2:42:13 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
I would find it very difficult to find many single mothers who would want to have meagre payments, and subsist on very little, rather than have a more substantial income and a happy healthy child or children. Whilst there are many who will fill these shoes, and always will be, there are many single mothers who do not have family support, cannot afford child care, do not have any child care if the child is sick and who have little chance of rising above their situation. The payments for sole parenting are not that high, and are still below the poverty line. One off payments are soon absorbed into child rearing and there are few single mothers I have met who spend their payments on shoes and on themselves.

People who have lived below the poverty line for a couple of generations often will choose the welfare route as they know of no other way to survive. It is to these people we need to focus to break the cycle.

For those mothers who would gladly go back to work, we need to put into place much more job training, open up more child care facilities (including private in-home care)and encourage employers to open their doors and employ these sole parents. The community as a whole, needs to be open to changing our attitudes to sole parents.

Stripping payments is not the answer and to show lack of care to our future, our young children, is not showing a high degree of logic.

In comparing how we should be focusing on payments to sole parents to those in the USA is ridiculous. Sole parents in the USA are living way below the povery line in many cases, and most cannot even afford medical care for their children. Do we want the same system here? Is this what we want for our future? I would rather look to Canada, to Europe for ideas, rather than toward a country with little heart in how they treat their lower income citizens, in particular, their sole parents.
Posted by tinkerbell1952, Wednesday, 11 January 2006 2:43:34 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. ...
  7. 17
  8. 18
  9. 19
  10. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy