Labour says it will extend Paid Parental Leave and make changes to the DPB. Specifically they do not like the work requirement when the youngest child turns six (which is only being applied to a small percentage of that group currently anyway.)
Annette King says;
"Nobody is saying it should be a benefit for life, but it is to assist people at a time when they are caring for children. Surely the aim here is to bring up responsible, well cared for kids. And those of us who have tried it know that that is hard work."
There are screeds of statistics available that show the children who do best are raised in two parent families. Good outcomes increase further when the two parents are their biological parents. And further improve when the two biological parents are married.
Now I am not a conservative. That means I do not think the state has to enforce such arrangements, or even actively incentivise them. But neither should it be constantly making laws that undermine the family as the best social and economic unit there is.
That is what leftist liberal policy - economic and social - has done for many decades. And in this country the supposed conservative party National is in that basket too.
People are born to form relationships; to form mutual dependencies on each other. A constructive mutual dependency is healthy and it is certainly the best environment within which to nurture children. But start ascribing monetary deficit to either existing partnerships or their breakdown, and then demanding the state ameliorate or correct the deficit, and it is easy to predict what the response will be. Single parents go from forming a very small percentage of society to forming a quarter to a third of all families raising children.
Then we have to take more from working families to support non-working, mostly single parent families, which means working parents, if their relationship can stand it, have to work more to keep ahead of the game. Next the same people who demanded that women should be recompensed for not being in a mutual dependency set-up start demanding that two parent families should also get more financial help and work less.
Where will it end?
When will a politician, preferably a leader, stand up and say, "Sorry folks but you are just going to have to start relying on each other again because we are not up to the job and are broke anyway"?
It ain't going be Mr Smiley.