Posted by: Fern | May 13, 2008

But I Wasn’t Going To Spend It On A TV!

OMGWTFBBQPOLARBEAR! Brace yourselves, I am about to discuss politics.

The federal budget has just been announced and it’s fairly interesting to skim through the changes. There’s an increase in child care rebates, which doesn’t currently affect me, but will in a couple of years when Declan starts preschool (oh god the thought sends chills down my bones), the tax thresholds have been moved which will work very much in our favour when it comes to Dan’s review time, oh an the Baby Bonus Maternity Allowance is now going to be paid fortnightly, that’s the BS part.

For those not in Australia, the “Baby Bonus” is money that the government gives you for popping out a sprog, it’s supposed to encourage population growth by easing the pressure of having a baby and the related expenses so the average couple would find it easier to have kids earlier and in a higher quantity and therefore fill up the less populated areas of Australia, of course this is backfiring as 85% of the population is still live on the east coast instead of actually moving to those areas that could do with a few more people. Meaning that certain areas are overpopulated and other areas still can’t get together enough people in their entire town for a cricket match.

It’s also backfiring in that there are many people procreating, collecting their $5,000, buying the bare minimum for their baby and then getting a really big telly, which is why you’ll often hear it referred to as “The Plasma Bonus”.

I, like many others probably, had already spent that money, and despite Dan’s complaints, it wasn’t on a plasma, as soon as we got the cheque it was going towards a booster seat for the car, a toddler bed, a new pushchair (our current one has taken to collapsing mid-push) and a new mattress for us, the rest of it was going to go to paying off what we have left owing on the car, oh, and paying the gap on the medical bill, because we did what the government told us to and got Health Insurance so that we wouldn’t be clogging up the public hospitals. I was quite looking forward to that big lump sum, but getting it weekly with our fabulous money management skills just makes it more likely to be lost in the money we spend on food, petrol and KFC, at least getting it in one chunk means that we can go out over one weekend and buy everything we need to set up Declan to make room for the baby, it puts a massive spanner in the works as now we actually have to save up the money so that we can buy all this before or as soon as possible after the baby arrives.

I’m aware I sound whiny as all hell, if I was giving birth back in the UK then I would be laughed at for demanding a couple of grand once they’d pulled my legs out of the stirrups, but, the UK does have one of the best maternity leave programs in the world believe it or not (Labour had to do something right), compared to Australia having no policies regarding it at all, so that does make up for it. But what pisses me off is that it wasn’t going to be spent on a TV, it was all allocated for worthy causes, and now because some bogans had to go out and buy a 42inch plasma with HD TV and a built in tuner “for their baby” we’re getting moderately shafted.

Bah!

ETA: I’ve read more into it today and have discovered that the Maternity Allowance changes don’t kick in until January, meaning that we’re in the clear, and, as this will probably be our last (unless Dan gets his way) then we won’t be affected by it. I really do feel sorry for the families that were depending on that money for IVF payments or homebirths, it sucks, but I’m not going to complain too much, because it’s still free money 😉

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Responses

  1. I’m with you. I was all for it being means tested but not so happy about the weekly stuff. For me, if IVF ever works, it was going to help us recover a little from that financial misery and help us get ready for the baby. sucks big time.

  2. Bells – I hadn’t even thought about the costs associated with that! We were very lucky with Declan in that we got a lot of hand me downs and help from our families, but even so, we still ended up paying out so much just in preparing for his arrival, the lump sum helped massively, far more so than $100 a week will.

    Hope you see your BFP soon 🙂

  3. Wow! I didn’t know that Australia had such a program….but it sucks when the bad decisions of a few effect the vast majority.

    It is almost like people wanting to give money to people to help them pay for health care here in the states. Do you REALLY think they’ll use it for that? More than likely not…..they’ll just have extra money to blow on useless crap and still bitch and moan about health care. Drives me insane!

  4. Thanks Fern. Nice of you to say that. So far we have spent about $11,000. Scary huh?

  5. Bells – It sounds like a huge amount now but it will all be worth it when you see your baby for the first time 🙂 Keep us updated on how it’s all going.

  6. I am cool with the means testing but changing the payment method is not going to be helpful to every one. I can see why there would be motivation for changing the system, but why are government systems always so rigid – why couldn’t there be a process whereby you apply for full payment or something?


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