Saturday, February 24, 2007

Other people paying for your choice is not freedom

During the week the DomPost featured a story about a couple with four children. The mother was complaining about the Working for Families package making it viable for her to cut her hours from 51 to zero and only be $58 worse off. She obviously enjoyed working and didn't like the idea of paying tax so other women could stay home.

This morning a handful of letters took her to task. They questioned why she had had four children if she didn't want to stay home, told her "money isn't everything", praised the new choice for mothers thanks to WFF, and reminded her parenting was working too. She got a telling off.

Moralists and busybodies. Good on Josephine Kent for being a hardworker and preferring the honest rewards of her efforts.

I have sent the following;

Dear Editor

I support Josephine Kent (Work less, earn more with subsidy scheme, Feb 20) who thinks it is crazy for the government to pay people not to work. Because, make no mistake, that is what they are doing with their Working For Families package. They are actively decreasing productivity as (mainly) women drop out of the workforce.

The pie isn't getting any bigger. The money being paid to those who stay home has to come from working people. That limits their choices. That is anti-freedom. Whether or not children should be in daycare or at home is a decision for their parents to make and their parents to pay for. Not for government to make and taxpayers to pay for.


Anonymous said...

I completely agree. In the newspaper article, the paper considered only her side of the transaction - the next financial impact on her (working making her something like $50 better off). If they had also considered the taxpayer side (her working, making the taxpayer probably more like $1500 better off, if I remember the details correctly; being a reduction in welfare to her, plus an increase in tax paid by her), then the story would seem even more shocking.

peteremcc said...

Is the article online somewhere?

Lindsay Mitchell said...


Oswald Bastable said...

Paying for the stupid choices of others- like here, paying for what is 'Fashionable'!

Anonymous said...

There is also a hidden side to this. When the children are older and the mom wants/needs to go back to work she has lost her skills and her position on the 'coporate' ladder

Anonymous said...

What people don't consider is that if a young couple decide to have children and the mother stay at home (most likely) and looks after the children and receive WFF then she runs the risk of a bleak future.

For example, once the children are grown and moved out of home and her husband leaves her (divorce or death) then she has little in marketable skills in get into the workforce.

Thus women will be trapped into low paying jobs compared to women who had children and returned to the workforce as soon as possible.

I think WFF is an anti-woman policy.