Parental leave in Australia

For those of you who don’t know the Federal government has recently decided to mess around with family payments, again.  This isn’t something I know a lot about.  At one time, I would have, but recently I have been steering away from political issues, because I don’t really know what to do about them.  In this post, what I want to do is to write something very rough that I may or may not update later.  I would appreciate and welcome any further comments on this contentious issue as I don’t know enough myself. 

The Federal election is set for September as I understand it and I have already decided. quite reluctantly, where my vote is going.  I say reluctantly because I think both parties have, again, more or less the same policies in important key areas.  One of the most contentious plans they seem to have is to reduce the baby bonus for stay at home mothers from $5000 to $2000.  At the same time, there appears to be little desire to reduce maternity leave packages from the current rate.  Moreover, it is being bandied around that we should introduce paid paternity leave.  I think fathers are going to be able to take up to 6 months leave off while receiving 75% of their normal salary.

Most of this makes little sense to me, but I am not surprised.  It does beg a couple of important questions, though.  Within society, the market has decided that people within our particular society are worth different amounts of money based upon the value of their work. Fair enough, but it’s probably not a good idea to value yourself on your salary.  What message does it send when we arbitrarily decide that people are worth X-amount of money regardless of present employment?  I have a somewhat vested interest in this topic as my younger sister graduated from University with a degree in teaching, did some supply work after having her first child, but never entered the full-time workforce.  So she is now more or less a full time mother.  Our society seemingly no longer values this role.  As for high income males who want entitlement to large proportions of their incomes so they can be stay-at-home dads.  I am not sure they can do quite as much as my sister.  I don’t know- I think our elites have over valued themselves.  Just this once.

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