Earlier this week Senator David Leyonhjelm was speaking in support of the Social Services Legislation Amendment (No Jab, No Pay) Bill 2015, legislation. Legislation that would make parents immunise their children in order to receive government support. As he so eloquently put, “it is bad enough that people continue to bring wave upon wave of these little blighters into the world. The least they can do is immunise their bundles of dribble and sputum so they don’t make the rest of us sick.” Geez, I am super glad he is not my elected representative. Senator Leyonhjelm used his freedom of speech and platform as an elected representative to drag discussions back to his early childhood of the 1950’s, so I am using my platform too. I have never felt compelled to write an open letter until now. Such regressive comments will not be left unaddressed.
I am disturbed, although not surprised by your recent comments suggesting, “there’s no good argument that all of those (childless Australians) people should subsidise people who do have children.” You grew up at a time where women had to hand in their resignation when they married, when fathers were not allowed at the birth of their own children and childcare involved getting your neighbour to look after your kids.
I’m saddened that your two university degrees and MBA haven’t afforded you a broader perspective. Possibly because all of your educators and role models were essentially 50 year old, silverback academics. I am surprised at the irony in your statement as no doubt, the tax payers subsidised what probably was a minimum 8 years of undergraduate study when you could have started work at the age of 14 and been a much better contributor to the economy.
I’m just wondering if you weren’t copied into the memo that the government provides most of these subsidies, not out of the goodness of their heart but, because there are social and economic outcomes. It is not a ‘handout’ it’s a policy tool to get more women working and allow children under the age of 5 access to the building blocks of education. This has long term effects, particularly for the children most at risk. If they are falling behind at the age of 5. The gap only increases by the age of 15. Also with more women working the increased tax revenue will more than offset the cost of the subsidy. The policy also attempts to address gendered roles with woman having traditionally had responsibility for caring for young children. Childcare benefits help women stay in and return to the workforce, they help men take on a larger parenting role.
Maybe you have watched too much TV and are getting ‘society’ confused with ‘survivor’. I really hope you don’t have early onset Alzheimer’s because you may find if we follow your philosophy young people will not contribute to nursing homes or people with a disability or those who are out of work. I don’t think so. We all contribute because we are in this together and that’s what makes Australia great.
A mother and contributor