Last week (15 -21 May) was National Families Week. National Families Week is organised by Families Australia, a wonderful organisation, and its aim is to celebrate the vital role that families play in Australian society.
This year’s theme, ‘Stronger Families, Stronger Communities’ highlighted the importance of families to communities and that community wellbeing is enhanced by family wellbeing.
Families Australia CEO Dr Brian Babington, said ‘National Families Week is a great time to reflect on and take action to further strengthen our families.’
Which brings us to the 2021 Budget delivered last week by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg where the theme of ‘supporting families’ ran from start to finish.
First and foremost, as members and supporters will have noticed, the Australian Family Party makes an important distinction between ‘support for families’ and ‘support for the family’. The first focuses on government spending and handouts, the second on family resilience and self-reliance.
Take childcare for example. In the 2021 Budget, the Treasurer announced a $1.7bn increase in childcare taking the total childcare expenditure to approximately $9.0bn per annum. And while this might be great news for childcare centre owners and two-income families who benefit from two tax-free thresholds, single-income families who provide childcare at home at no cost to the taxpayer are severely disadvantaged. Mothers who want to look after their own children miss out. The way the family is taxed, particularly the single-income family, is outrageously inequitable. The Australian Family Party strongly advocates income-splitting for single-income households.
The level of spending in this year’s Budget is breathtaking.
Family First’s successful 2016 campaign slogan was ‘Every family, a job and a house’. If every family had a job and owned their own home, the campaign went, the benefits to the nation would be enormous.
That is family resilience and self-reliance. Full employment, home ownership.
Here again, while a $25,000 home buyers grant might seem nice, when you consider government fees and charges make up nearly 40 per cent of the purchase price of a home, the government is quietly taking $250,000 with one hand and loudly giving back $25,000 with the other. Where’s the sense or integrity in that? A huge brick wall in the form of taxes, charges, levies and planning restrictions has been built across the road to home ownership and all a $25,000 grant does is add another rung to the ladder that struggling home buyers use trying to get over the wall.
Australia’s total debt and deficit is set to hit one trillion dollars in four years’ time. A billion is a thousand million. A trillion is a million million. The mind boggles.
One of nature’s cast iron laws is, ‘What goes up, must come down’. Somehow we’re going to have to repay this trillion dollars. Hmm …
The list of spending items in this year’s Budget was endless. Former West Australian MP John Hyde used to say, “Any lightweight can lead kids into a lolly shop, but it takes real leadership to lead them out.” That is Australia’s problem.