Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"Won't someone please think of the childless?"

So said "libertarian" senator David Leyonhjelm from NSW supporting legislation to remove welfare from parents who won't immunise their children.

The central issue aside, what a difference to NZ discourse:

"To the childless people of Australia, I want to say, on behalf of this Parliament, thank you for being childless.
"You work for more years and become more productive than the rest of Australia. You pay thousands and thousands of dollars more tax than other Australians. You get next to no welfare ...
"But you pay when other people get pregnant, you pay when they give birth, you pay when they stay at home to look after their offspring ..." Senator Leyonhjelm said.
The Liberal Democrat said that he was sorry than instead of receiving thanks, Australians without children were "often ignored, pitied, considered strange, or even thought of as irresponsible".
"For your sake, I hope the children you are forced to support don't end up as juvenile delinquents, and I hope that they get immunised so that you don't end up getting sick. Because you'll pay then, too." 
I suppose the immediate objection is that a "libertarian" senator would not support the state forcing parents to immunise their children. But the state isn't. It is withdrawing other people's money from those who refuse to.


Anonymous said...

As half of a childless (by choice) couple - I'd been wondering when this largely neglected demographic was going to be given a little time in the political sunshine. As usual, we will lag Australia by about 20 years on the issue, however it's nice to see a first tilt at another of our insane politically correct windmills.

In our politically correct intellectual wasteland - you cannot question the prejudices shown to the childless without vicious insults being fired at you.... like "You're only bitter", "If you had children you'd understand", "You're so selfish" etc etc.

My partner and I are also members of the rapidly shrinking cohort of net taxpayers and in our work lives we're surrounded by on a weekly basis having to cover for parents who variously fail to turn up due to:
- school holidays
- sick children
- school meetings

We are de-prioritised on our leave wishes because we can't be off during peak holiday times because parents get first 'dibs' due to childcare duties.

But hey, even though we pay more tax than anyone else we know - it's OK to exploit us as we don't have kids (neglecting that we provide housing to our aged parents) - but this is the burden you have to bear if you are rich pricks! What a funny society - still good to hear the Aussies have started the debate - I expect this person to be shouted down loudly - you can't have free speech can you?

James said...

I'm also half of a childless couple (for now...). I've always believed that the best 'welfare unit' (though I'm not a fan of that term) is in fact a stable, conventional family. Mother, father, kids. And extended family for additional support.

I believe that the best way to ruin that construct is to subsidise it with someone else's money. For the moral reasons that Anonymous has just said, and also because it has the exact opposite effect intended - it generates dependency on taxpayers' money, not self reliance.

But of course that's just me being a right wing bigot isn't it?

Anonymous said...

"libertarian" senator David Leyonhjelm from NSW supporting legislation to remove welfare from parents who won't immunise their children.

Hmm, how about

legislation to remove welfare from parents

now that looks better... but

legislation to remove welfare

is just so much better. And only a matter of time.