Our Budget WoesIn their columns in The Australian, 26 May 2016, both Niki Sava and David Uren presented a perceptive analysis of Australia's budget problems, (Commentary, p. 12). However both have missed a salient issue, as have so-called 'conservative' tanks like the Institute of Public Affairs and big business corporations, and that is the link between fiscal and social issues. Australia's budget problems are common to developed countries, many of which are suffering even greater deficits than we are. Neither Malcolm Turnbull nor Bill Shorten is able to present a coherent strategy for getting our budget out of deficit in the short term.
The major social problem that western governments ignore is that a birth rate below replacement level eventually results in too few people of working age supporting an increased proportion of elderly and retired citizens. As life expectancy increases thanks (in part) to advances in expensive medical technology, the tax burden on the working age population increases, and this in turn discourages them from having as many children as they might like to have if their taxes were lower.
Government, Opposition, big business and think tanks overlook that Australia aborts its most precious economic resource - approximately 90,000 unborn babies each year. Instead of investing in pregnancy support services and eulogising the efforts of groups like the Helpers of God's Precious Infants - who have to date saved the lives of 300 babies - Australian taxpayers are forced to subsidize abortion services which kill infants in the womb and thus destroy the most valuable part of our future. Our birth rate is already below replacement level and instead of helping pregnant women to maintain their pregnancies, Government and Opposition policies seem to regard giving birth as a tiresome and expensive interruption to a woman's "participation in the workforce". As if having babies and raising children is not work, albeit unpaid.... Why is it considered honourable work if a child care worker in a creche looks after children but not so honourable when a mother does it at home?
Incidentally Russia and Eastern European countries which have emerged from the yoke of communism have realised that their future is dependent on a healthy birth rate and are desperately instituting pro-natalist policies, while in Japan, one of the first countries to legalise abortion, we now see closed schools and villages inhabited only by old people.
In Australia the discrimination against single income families who prefer to have one parent at home caring for preschool children is gross. When Julia Gillard increased the tax-free threshhold from around $6,000 to $18,200 (a good initiative in itself except that it exacerbated the discrimination) these families were only entitled to one tax-free threshhold even though they make few demands on our very expensive government funded child care system. Many of these families also home-educate their children at no cost to the taxpayer, and they are also families who want to have more than our below replacement level of 1.9 chldren.
No-fault divorce laws are another burden on taxpayers - all the economic experts focussed solely on fiscal issues forget the cost to the budget of broken families, so-called "single mothers" unsupported by the men who fathered their children and the impact on children's health and educational achievement if they are living in a single-parent household. A modest increase in two-years separation before no-fault divorces are granted would give greater opportunity for reconciliation. Ignored also is the discrimination against men in efforts to get more women into the paid workforce.
Our budget deficits will not be resolved until we have more stable families. Big business companies are always lobbyng for tax cuts: some of them waving rainbow flags for sterile homosexual "marriage equality", have not factored in the health costs of male homosexual practices. Business Corporations should ponder on the fact that our budget deficits and their tax burden will not be reduced until there are more stable, 'married with children' heterosexual twoparent families and the social welface component of our budget is thereby reduced. In this issue of our Newsletter we salute two heroines and a hero of the pro-life, pro-family movement who are trying to make a difference.