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John Passant

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Sprouting sh*t for almost nothing
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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)



How about full government funding for child care, not superannuation rorts for the rich?


The AMP Natsem report into the cost of child care, released on Saturday, shows that the cost of child care has increased at almost ten percent per year for the last decade or 150% over the last ten years from $30 per day in 2003 to $75 per day in 2013. (Report, page 4.) ‘The least affordable centres are dotted around Sydney Harbour and the Western Australian mining regions.’ The cost can be up to $170 a day. (Page 18).

The report shows that for low paid women it may not be worthwhile to return to work. ‘The average Australian mother keeps only one-third of her hourly wage when returning to work full-time.’ (Page 20.)

A single income mother moving from 20 hours part-time to 40 hours full-time would end up with an hourly rate of just $3.44 for that extra 20 hours, taking into account what they lose in benefits, tax and childcare costs. (Page 26.) A mother from a low income household returning to work full-time would keep only $4.55 of her hourly wage. (Page 20.)

What can we do? A government committed to women re-entering the workforce could set up a program for state owned and operated (with parent participation) childcare centres at affordable rates, perhaps even for free, in working class areas across Australia.

The wages of early childcare workers remain low, (Page 26), so a progressive government would also increase the pay of these workers markedly.

“Where’s the money coming from?” every Tory Tosspot asks. How about some or all of the $15 billion in superannuation tax rorts that the top 5% of income earners forego? What about the $10 billion foregone in capital gains concessions for business and the well off? Or the billions foregone through negative gearing?

Even with leakage from this roughly $30 bn figure, that is still around $20 billion to begin a program to build first class childcare centres run by well paid staff across the country. And we’d still have enough left over for a decent parental leave scheme for working class mothers and fathers, plus some for public health, public education and public transport




Pingback from How about full government funding for child care, not superannuation rorts for the rich? | OzHouse
Time June 22, 2014 at 11:11 pm

[…] Jun 22 2014 by admin […]

Comment from Tony Hulme
Time June 23, 2014 at 1:36 am

Why connect two separate issues? I know the funding question would come up, but regardless of how it is funded i think you should provide more attention to explaining and justifying the additional child care spending.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time June 23, 2014 at 3:44 pm

In the old days, no one got paid large sums of money to take parental leave before leaving their children in someone else’s care at the government’s expense. Both of these ideas are good for emptying the government’s coffers.

Huge savings could be made if the government allowed the young and the strong to look after themselves and their children. But this would require a higher level of availability of full time work and decent wages and working conditions.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time June 24, 2014 at 8:03 am

I’ve been thinking about this again. I returned to work in 1977 at the age of 21, having married an apprentice and producing 2 tiny tots, then aged almost 2 and 3. I had to do this to keep a roof over my children’s heads.

At the time there was fairly widespread workplace discrimination against women with young dependant children, and a severe shortage of part-time work opportunities.

I was rejected by 2 employers: accountants who said I was too intelligent to stay in their boring job, and a large insurance company where I was all but reprimanded by a male interviewer who said he would not want the mother of his young children working.

The third interviewer, professor and head of a university department, accepted me based on my academic record alone. I was so nervous I completely botched his shorthand and typing tests.

Child care fees were not subsidised by the government at all and took the lion’s share of my pay packet, but I still had just enough money left over to help look after my kids. Although I was not on the minimum wage, I was unable to use even 1/3 of my pay packet after child care fees had been paid.

Back then there were no cheap generic foods or clothing and no extended shopping hours. Child care centres also didn’t provide food as they do now.

One of the reasons the government has such a huge welfare bill today is that it gives out too much money to the young and the strong.

It also allows the importation of cheap foreign labour and allows its corporate mates to minimise taxation. At the same time, it has to pay out a lot of money in Newstart and DSP because of the glut of workers imported by their corporate mates.

All of these things have the net effect of putting more money into the hands of corporates, while emptying government coffers and driving wages and working conditions down.

I think corporates also largely control the child care industry.

Funding for the government’s Paid Parental Leave Scheme should be reallocated to job creation programs and looking after the disadvantaged through the welfare system.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time June 24, 2014 at 8:05 am

I completely agree with the government hitting rich superannuants for their fair share of the tax.

Better still would be a steady u-turn on Superannuation and windback to a fully government run pension system.

This would certainly fix a lot of the country’s woes.

Comment from John
Time June 24, 2014 at 8:26 am

Well, Tony, because they show the priorities of the government of the one percent, and they also show there is a shitload of money out there in the hands of the rich which could make life better for working class Australians. Capitalism requires productive workers, male and female. This enables women to get back into the workforce and to be exploited by capital beter and at the same time greatly benefits them in terms of pay, living standards, self-worth etc.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time June 24, 2014 at 11:30 am

John, I think it could be argued that lots of women would prefer to stay home for a few years with their babies and toddlers. I think capitalism has taken their choices away.

Paid Parental Leave schemes tend to discriminate against women who are trying to parent their own children.

Having raised 2 generations of children, I think having one of the parents at home for a few years is far better than sending children into child care environments which are largely cramped, overpopulated breeding grounds for disease.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time June 25, 2014 at 7:45 pm

I have also been reading about the physical and psychological stress being placed on grandparents looking after grandchildren while their parents work.

I think it would be far better if parents with young children stayed home and did the parenting themselves, while the older people who are currently being denied a paid job were enabled to consolidate their retirement funds.

That’s how it used to work…Grandma got a part-time job when her children became adults, while Grandpa continued with full-time work until he reached the retirement age.