Baby bonus tempts teens - claims Labour
Published on June 27, 2004 By trina_p In Current Events
There's alot of debate and discussion on JU about welfare and women having babies for the money - I read this comment on Wisefawn's women entrapaneurs blog

Women are not going around spitting out babies to get welfare money, as she is saying they are


and I thought Yes, some are!
then
I went to News.com.au (www.news.com.au) and typed in a search for $3000 baby bonus and this is what I came up with Link
however I've posted two of the more relevant posts below.

It's all over the news currently about women having babies to get the baby bonus, how when the $600 per child family tax benefit B went into peoples accounts last week liquor stores, tv salesman etc noticed a rise in sales.
People emailed into Sunrise to say what they were spending their bonus on - and many of them WEREN'T on their children.
We actually put ours in a trustfund for Elana to give to her when she's 18 so she can buy a car/put a deposit on a house/go travelling - $10 a week for 18 years plus interest is a lot of money - I digress.
BTW - Yes (i don't know if I've said this already) Nick did by an x-box this weekend but that was something he'd been planning for for awhile as a Graduation present to himself - the government didn't buy it.

Personally I think anyone who a) holds off on their caesarian/inducement just to get $3,000 and falls pregnant just to get the parenting allowence, baby bonus, maternity leave etc -- is nuts!
How dangerous is it to yours and the baby's health to hold off something like that --- plus I know that when I was 9months pregnant I was dying for Elana to come out -- you couldn't have paid me to keep her in there....

Link
Women delay birth 'for bonus'
June 17, 2004

PREGNANT women are reportedly trying to delay their birth until July 1 to get the Federal Government's new $3000 baby bonus.

Some hospitals are booked out for planned caesarean sections on the first two days next month as pregnant women scramble to extend their birth dates to get the allowance, today's The Daily Telegraph newspaper reports.

Doctors concerned about the medical impaction of the delays have asked Health Minister Tony Abbott to bring forward the baby bonus start date, but the legislation cannot be changed.

Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred obstetrics and gynaecology director Andrew Child said the hospital's doctors met this week to plan for extra births in early July.

"They are all a bit concerned that they are getting requests from pregnant mothers to put off the date of birth to July 1," Dr Child told The Daily Telegraph.

"We would always suggest that the baby comes first.

"It is not worth $3000 to put your baby's whole life at risk."

Parents of all newborn babies will receive $3000 after July 1 under the Government's new maternity allowance, announced in last month's Federal Budget.

The payment will rise to $5000 by 2008.

The Howard Government's new initiative is aimed at wooing parents and combating Labor's offer of a $3000 baby care payment, which would be means tested.


Link
Baby bonus tempts teens, claims Labor
By Michelle Grattan, Kenneth Nguyen
May 27, 2004

The Opposition yesterday stirred fears that the Federal Government's $3000 lump sum maternity payment would send a signal to teenage girls to become pregnant.

Labor leader Mark Latham quoted in Parliament a 2003 cabinet submission, recently leaked, that suggested fortnightly payments rather than lump sums might be a better form of payment for teenage mothers.

While Labor argues that a fortnightly payment is better, it is also trying to "wedge" John Howard on an issue likely to touch a nerve among some conservative voters and in some working-class electorates.

But Mr Howard told Parliament the issue of teenage pregnancy was exaggerated.

Backbencher Roger Price, who led Labor's attack after Mr Latham put his stamp on it with a cautiously worded question, said that for people in his and many other electorates, the $3000 lump sum was "temptation".

"Why should we have a Government policy on the Coalition side sending a market signal to teenage women that, if you get pregnant, you get a lump sum of $3000?" Mr Price said.

He quoted Glenn Sergeant, principal of Plumpton High School in his NSW electorate, which runs a program encouraging teenage mothers to continue at school, saying that $3000 was enough to induce some teenagers to have a baby.

But Mr Howard told Parliament there was a "misbelief" about teenage pregnancies.

"The reality is that fewer than 2 per cent of Australian teenagers have a child in any year - and the long-term trend is downwards, not upwards," he said.

This compared with about 5 per cent in the United States and 3 per cent in the United Kingdom. Teenage birthrates in Australia were low despite relatively generous welfare and family assistance schemes, Mr Howard said.

"The common view held by, I think, too many Australians that single mothers are typified by teenagers who go out and get pregnant in order to get social security benefits is just plain wrong," he said.

"The overwhelming majority of single mothers in this country were previously married or in stable relationships. I have not met many single mothers who are single mothers by design."

Labor's baby-payment scheme proposes fortnightly payments for 14 weeks to 12 months.

Mr Howard said Labor had tried to design a baby-care payment that looked as much as possible like paid maternity leave without being paid maternity leave.

When Treasurer Peter Costello was quizzed after the budget about the potential effect of the scheme on teen pregnancy rates, he said it would have to be carefully administered.

The Government scheme has provision for the $3000 to be delivered in six fortnightly payments to a first-time mother if a social worker believes she is at risk of financial problems. There is also a provision for six payments if any mother specifically requests it.

Welfare groups expressed outrage at Labor's suggestion, with many pointing to 2002 research by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling that estimates the cost of raising a child at $183 a week.

"Let me tell you, it costs you an awful lot more than $3000 to have a baby," Salvation Army director John Dalziel said.

Council of Single Mothers and their Children project officer Shannon Keebaugh said: "It is amazing that the Labor Party would come out with something like that. I'm shocked and appalled."

She said teenagers most at risk of pregnancy did not research their welfare entitlements in detail before pregnancy. "They are generally unplanned," Ms Keebaugh said.

However, Mr Latham's suggestion that maternity payments should be paid fortnightly won a warmer reception. The Uniting Church said it would help develop financial planning skills.




Comments
on Jun 27, 2004
i read this and i like the title. it sounds newsy and there's snazzy alliteration with 'birth' and 'bonus'.

otherwise.... eh i don't know. headlines aren't my forte

mums only in it for the money?

miss i'm on holidays is on holidays in name only.... i'm experiencing work for the next two weeks at the qt. yaay! but you knew that.
will i see you at speck's bash on saturday? i hope so.
on Jun 28, 2004
I think this is awful personally, but it's a situation that has been going on in England for a while. Teenage girls now view having a baby as career option, they get a house, they get child care paid for, they get moeny every week, ad they have the option of going to college and whatever. I just think it encourages these girls to go out and get pregnant, i think they should be helped, of course, they are only children themselves, and they are encouraging them to get an education and finally get a job and support themselves, i just think things should be a bit more tough for them, so it does stop others from going down the same road, anyway I've waffled enough, great article Trina
on Jun 28, 2004

Good article.  It got an insightful from me....


...I see it all the time.  Sally's right, girl's are looking at having kids as a way to get more...more money for college, free or subsidized daycare whilst they're at school, subsidized housing.


 

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