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The Baby Bonus

or is it just my sour grapes

Is it just my sour grapes, or are my thoughts on the baby bonus wrong.

I know it costs $$s when you have a baby, but what is the bonus now $4K or $5K?

I'd like to see some caveats on that:

1. The child's father MUST be named on the birth certificate.

2. The mother should prove she was in a de facto or marriage relationship.

3. The money is given on a card and this card can ONLY be used at selected stores
    (ie baby good stores, supermarkets or grocery stores)

My thinking behind this is:

* No Dad, no $$s. A lot of DNA costs from Dad's would be saved, because Mum would want the money.

* In this day and age of effective birth control, their is no place for unplanned pregnancy. If you are getting yourself pregnant, it is a deliberate act and not something the government should be subsidising if you plan on being a single mum. The ongoing burden on the social security system extends way beyond the initial $$s.

* I know there is no guarantee that the money will be properly spent, but it helps.

So, let me know - am I a fuddy duddy or am I on to something here?

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
I fully agree and think the money better spent in other ways. Such as "maternity leave" superannuation, subsidised dental or cheaper healthy foods. The idea of being given thousands of $$ to have a baby is appalling.

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.
Agree - check the stats on births - many of them have been to unmarried mothers, aged less than 25 living in the Northern Territory.

Children having children for money.

 Maybe I am not explaining myself well enough
Well put Artemis,,, now why can't those Govt bodies come up with these policies !!!  
Artemis, would you go as far as to say that the card should be a photoid type of card?

Perhaps DNA testing at or around birth? Costs perhaps clawed back from any future increases in the bonus.

In the UK, the equivalent was child allowance (if I recall correctly) a small amount at regular intervals.

How would you cope with donated sperm/embryos?

If a card for the baby bonus, why not for CS?
I actually disagree.

The baby bonus was designed to increase births.

It was stupid badly thought out policy.

Any fiddling at the edges just makes it worse.

If we want healthy happy families then we need to ensure that people are encouraged to have children - that does not mean give mothers more money (again fathers have no say). It means try and ensure that married life is a good thing to be in - that couples want to have children.

The idea that 4k at birth to some single mother (did not want to get married or have a relationship - just have a child) is going to end up with a good result for anyone is bizarre. Not to mention long term GOV (my tax) support required for them.

Having children for money is one of the evils of society

The real problem is of course, the birth rate, marriage rates and falling and the divorce rates are still high and climbing. The government fails to realize that all the barriers and changes they have made over the last 30 years are having affect.

Most men are now realizing that there is very little in it FOR THEM to get married - they stand to lose more and will never be compensated. Women on the other hand at divorce are compensated and supported by everyone - free legal, support groups, kindly law and precedents, natural bias, shadow of law,acquired assets, CSA, government programs and so on.

Women who have careers, babies later etc.

If the problem was - "Why don't Australians Have as Many Babies" Then that needs to be understood.

Throwing money at one bits causes more problems than it fixes and has 'Unintended" consequences - like increased single mothers, more docs involvement, kids without parents, etc.

 Maybe I am not explaining myself well enough
You're right Jon, the baby bonus was a bad idea and a blatant pork barrelling exercise by the Howard Government. Unfortunately, it will be a brave government that takes it away. I think some fiddling around the edges will be as good as it gets.

In my cirlce of friends, the reason people are not having babies is that they are leaving it too late, not finding partners or not finding a partner who wants a child (both men and women).

I don't see that having more children will fix the problem with Australia's aging population, especially as the increase in babies is not equally across the economic spectrum (correct me if you have the stats, Jon, I'd be interested). In a grossly overpopulated world, I can't see the point, when immigration will give us instant excess population.

In response to your comments, MikeT…

I've never had a problem with The Australia Card, although I think costs will defeat it. I worked for many years in security and there are high maintenance costs associated with photo id.

I think DNA testing should be done at birth, and as we get more sophisticated, the parent notified of any potential for diseases.

Donated sperm or embryos would be in the same boat - if Mum is a singleton….no $$s. It gives the child a really bad start to life, not having a Dad or Dad figure.

I'm not sure what gains there would be from a Child Support card - do you mean that child support would only be spent at certain stores?

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Artemis.

My understanding is that a major gripe of many CS payers, is that they are quite aware that CS is often not used for it's intended purpose and many that I have heard from, would be far happier knowing that the parent handling this money were responsible and thus many advocate accountability. As such I see what you propose with some sort of BB card, if feasible,* as being relatively easy to extend to CS, or a proportion of it, to reduce the child exploitation and thus child abuse, as so often happens with regard to CS recipients. If introducing one then why not the other, they'd be very much along the same lines. Obviously neither would stop some sort of market by the more desperate (e.g. go and buy the buggy or whatever and then pawn it). Do you have proposals to reduce that sort of action?

I asked about photo id (i.e. a photograph of the authorised user/users of the BB card) to reduce the likelihood of abuse of the card (thinking along the lines of Drivers licence), it looks as though you might have thought I was trying to discuss the ID card (perhaps I should have explained more).

* I question feasible as Matt Miller, when asked about such accountability, said it was impossible and surely I shouldn't question such a figure.  ;)
I like the idea.

Needs to be a photo id card.

Could we also do this for certain welfare payment receivers? Eg ones that have been on unemployment benefits for say longer then 3 or 4 years?

It would provide peace of mind for everyone as you would know the money is being spent where it should be.

Still not 100% fail safe, but maybe a step in a better way.

Maybe also add finance planning/monitoring so that people would be able to get themselves into a better situation, (DP and i made heaps of bad mistakes with $$ and now have to delay having our own kids for a while till we are in a better financial position) again, not 100% as the people would want to have to make it better for themselves IYKWIM.
I think a photo card for anyone recieving government benefits (perhaps above a certain level) would be a very good idea.

Another idea that Mike's questions prompted is that receipts be kept and claimed back on tax for the BB?

I think as far as CS that they should be able to make payments in kind, without the mother's consent, that come off their CS payments automatically, as long as they are directly for the children's well being - ie school fees, medical fund and son. At least for a certain portion.

Miacat, when I was in high school, I did the "vegie" maths. This was after being the only girl in the class for Maths I and flunking it spectacularly. It was one of the best things, because the subject covered life skills, like understanding how to write a cheque, run a credit card and how compound interest works. I still use the method for working out how much paint to buy.

I have often thought the high school day should be longer and "life skill" classes given. Classes that teach you about how to run a household, organise your finances, basic household repair, car maintenance. I would have loved it.

The closes I had to this was "mothercraft" which was about babies and I only got 67%. Apparently my pictures and colouring in wasn't pretty enough…lol.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Artemis, I think that medical payments are currently allowed as NAPS (Non-Agency Payments).

As for receipts, yep automatically obtained via the card I would have thought.
I really don't understand why you are proposing this complex, administrative, restrictive process? Do you really like having the government control you and everyone else?

Whats the real issue you are trying to solve - bad women or victim children?

 Maybe I am not explaining myself well enough
Jon Pearson said
Whats the real issue you are trying to solve - bad women or victim children?
Waste of money!

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.
I think Jadzia explained the main thrust. I would also have less problem paying out money, if I knew it was well spent.

A friend of my partner is constantly taunted by his ex wife. She runs her own business, has a new partner and is sitting pretty. She rocks up in her car and says - "see those mags? You paid for that". Oh he gets to see the kids every weekend. So yes, he sees the chidren, but knows that he is effectively a babysitter so his ex can be kid-free every week but it's still not enough time to have his payments reduced to something sensible. He, by the way, lives in a rented apartment, has not re-partnered and is a very sad man.

I'm sure everyone has, or knows a typical story. This is what I'd like to stop by way of a card. It's not the point I started at, but it's a good evolution.

I started at having a problem with $4K being given from the government, without any sort of compliance or monitoring in place.

I know of no other scheme from the government wich is a massive handout. Everything of this kind of $$ is a REBATE, which means you spend the money first, then prove to the government that you spent it. EG: water tanks, gas kits, solar power installs, pool covers etc etc.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
I disagaree with Child Support fundamentally. I have real problems with handing people money generally from 'the government'.

The reality is that less than 1/2 the population works and the bulk of people who work full time are males. So as far as the TAX being paid by Individual's Income Tax - its mainly men.(other major contributions - GST, Company Tax)

Money on better schools, health services, infrastructure (water, energy, transport) - education and training etc - can all be done WITHOUT handing money to people.
1/3 of our entire budget is given to people every year. I'd rather pay less tax and have better services.

Unemployment is at an all time low (for those who actually wont to work). Those people who don't want to work are not counted as unemployed (e.g. mums)

People don't tend to respect as much the money they get handed as the money they earn.

 Maybe I am not explaining myself well enough
I think you make some good points, Jon.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
An interesting suggestion has been made by a youth in the lead up to the 2020 summit.

It has been suggested that the baby bonus be an account of sorts at Medicare when one presents the receipts from their child's expenses and claims payment as these expenses occur.

Certainly not a perfect solution but it would go along way to ensuring that the baby bonus is spent on whom it is intended, the baby.

This should be paid on a needs basis, it should not be an automatic payment. Dare I suggest that this be a means tested payment like the Newstart Allowance.
Jon Pearson said
I disagree with Child Support fundamentally. I have real problems with handing people money generally from the government….
Jon, how else would you ensure children are catered for and financially accommodated? The CSA pass ALL the funds they collect on to "the lives with" parent.

The new formula takes into account a new credit for care to credit the "spends time with parent", a combined income (both parents regardless of what they earn), lower protected amount the same for both parents,  lower cap etc.., It is not utopia but what else would you suggest when you have parents who will not communicate and enter into private treaty arrangements. I do know that Minister, Joe Ludwig is extremely keen to see CSA involvement in peoples lives significantly reduced and far more effort go into private agreements through mediations at the FRC's (Family Relationship Centers).

The problem you have is that our burgeoning social welfare system can only cope with so much social reform and payments taken in tax from the few who work. If everything is paid from the public purse do we expect higher taxes?

My own personal solution / view is we should convert raw uranium out of the ground to fissionable material in fuel rods and sell these. Then receive the spent rods back and run a nuclear fuel dump / recycling plant. That would make us one of the wealthiest countries in the world. You wouldn't need to worry then Jon. Take a look at every Saudi household and see what the government pays them from petroleum incomes….  No one would have to work or worry about taxes. :thumbs:

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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Australian Governments are both complicit and culpable in the war on families

Secretary SPCA said
Jon Pearson said
I disagree with Child Support fundamentally. I have real problems with handing people money generally from the government…
Jon, how else would you ensure children are catered for and financially accommodated? The CSA pass ALL the funds they collect on to "the lives with" parent.
I agree with Jon on this.  And I think and feel very deeply about this issue.  The following words are carefully chosen.

I fundamentally disagree with an organisation that can remove money from me when I have not agreed to it nor have I committed any crime.

Especially when such an organisation is but a branch of a larger one which was responsible for the forced removal of my child from me and me from my home.

In effect, I was robbed and then money was forcibly extorted from me to pay for the robbery.

The agents of these crimes, state magistrates courts, state police the CSA and the FCA/FMC cartel, are part of a 'criminal syndicate'.

It's all very nice to 'work' within the system, but if the system is corrupt and evil (nazism, communism, Mugabe, Kim Jong Ill, Taliban, etc), as is the one in Australia, where fathers are daily evicted from their families and homes and robbed to pay for it, then one has to wonder.  More than wonder.

The CSA is akin to the Mafia in terms of threatening and extorting money.

Extorted 'child support' monies do not go to the child but to the mother (in most cases - the euphemistically termed '"the lives with" parent').  And she is not accountable for how that stolen money is spent, nor under any obligation to spend it on the children.

By providing laws and enforcement that provide for, enable, facilitate and enforce the removal of children from fathers, the Australian Governments and their agencies and agents are both complicit and culpable in these terrible crimes against families, children and fathers.
The whole focus on the money - because that's what it's really all about - is all wrong.

If only people who had babies knew that THEY would have to support THEMSELVES and their baby - maybe we would have better outcomes for all: healthy relationships, economy, community, health etc.

Handing out money after the event is remediation of a bad situation - and men are generally blamed or responsible for it.

 Maybe I am not explaining myself well enough
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