WHO WILL PAY THE HIGH PRICE OF CHILD CARE?
... eventually the child will
Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.
Ever since Whitlam and his “Minister for the Status of Women”, Susan Ryan, graced Canberra, successive Governments have been dedicated to getting the fairer sex into the workforce because, they say, it doubles PAYE tax revenue. It doesn’t, never has, never will and the meagre tax take is a drop in the bucket compared to the current child care cost of $7 billion!
So, Mrs became Ms, “housewife” morphed into “home duties” until “home duties” became too demeaning. Tits didn’t have to look pointy any more, bums could wobble, petticoats, stepins and garter belts disappeared, gender became a choice and, “I s’pose a fuck’s out of the question” became the respectable ask of either sex.
Okay, so I’m an old fashioned troglodyte, but I will always believe child care is the responsibility of the child’s mother and not some greedy, subsidised “Kids R Us” entrepreneur.
I don’t usually talk about personal stuff but here goes: After I married my childhood sweetheart, I had two kids while still a teenager and it was hard keeping a home on an under-age wage as a proofreader.
So I also worked the night shift at Brockhoff’s Biscuits and drove a cab the entire weekend. Although my head buzzed with tiredness it gave me take-home pay of around nine quid which was two quid more than my Dad earned. We lived well.
For the next 40 years, until she died suddenly from cancer, my wife never needed to work and she proved to be the most amazing mother of amazing kids.
When I remarried seven years ago, my wife insisted on keeping her full-time job and employing a nanny for two more beautiful kids. She is now happy I talked her out of that because the time she is now enjoying with her children in their formative years has proved as irreplaceable to her as much as to her children.
This treasured experience has an inestimable price tag, a unique value beyond comparison for both mother and child... and a mother and child only get one go at it.
Dads are great but they can never replace a mum’s warm breast when a child is regularly not feeling well.
I tried the child care option but it didn’t last a day, I couldn’t cop an unknown 30 year old bloke with a blue card, a beard and a ponytail taking my 3 year-old daughter to the toilet when she wouldn't allow me to do that.
Tonight’s budget will wrestle with balancing the unsustainable cost of child care against the right for mothers to work. But there is no advocate to plead for a child’s right to full-time mother care.
Tony Abbott’s doomed PPL signature policy was designed to get women back into the workforce, but what did it actually do? It enticed them OUT of the workforce with an attractive six months’ paid parental leave scheme, eventually throwing another toddler to the child care industry.
Where is the assistance for the mother who chooses not to rely on a government child care handout and care for her children herself?
Does that not have more value than a double income? “Oh, but we need a double income these days”, is the retort. Do we really? I know I’d happily hand-wash Bob Brown’s laundry for a living if it meant my children had a full-time mother.
The bourgeoning child care industry is indelibly linked to the later social cost of disillusioned, delinquent youth. Why is it with every social experiment someone needs to suffer?
With the child care experiment it’s only the little child with neither a vote nor a voice who suffers.
So who gives a stuff?