“To make such a wild comment without proper data is inappropriate.” Nationals candidate Troy Grant slammed MP Dawn Fardell for her comment that the non-existent lump-sum baby bonus payment contributes to ‘child abuse and neglect’.The Federal Government dismissed concerns made by Dubbo MP Dawn Fardell that lump-sum baby bonuses contribute to “child abuse and neglect”.
Ms Fardell’s comment came after it was revealed one third of all youths in NSW aged 15 and 16 had been reported to the Department of Community Services. The Government report showed more than a quarter of children under 18 were known to DoCS.
Ms Fardell said it needed to be “recognised and accepted that lump-sum baby bonus payments have contributed to child abuse and neglect”.
“Children have become a commodity for some people who bring babies into the world as a away of funding purchases like a plasma television or new tyres for a car,” she said.
Ms Fardell also cited drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence as factors behind the alarming statistics.
However there was “no research to show there (was) a connection” between childhood abuse or neglect and lump-sum baby payments, which the Government scrapped last year, a spokesperson for Families Minister Jenny Macklin said.
“The baby bonus is paid in 13 fortnightly payments so I don’t know what lump-sum payment she is talking about,” she said.
The Government changed the way the baby bonus was paid in the 2008 budget.
“From 1 January 2009 we introduced a family means test of $150,000 a year and changed the payment system so that parents would receive the baby bonus in 13 fortnightly installments,” the spokesperson said.
“These changes were made so that the baby bonus targeted families most in need and parents would have the money to pay bills as they came in following the birth of their baby.
“(And) to stop people spending it in one hit.”
The Nationals candidate for Dubbo Troy Grant said it was a “long bow” for his State election opponent to draw.
“To make such a wild comment without proper data is inappropriate,” he said.
“Domestic violence, unemployment and the cost of living are a lot of the drivers to child abuse which is fundamental to address for our social network.”
However he also said he was “not a fan” of lump-sum baby bonus payments.
“The baby bonus in my view should not be an incentive for increasing the birth rate where it is open to adding to social problems. It should be … to support families in need.”
“While it is a federal issue the social impact when it goes wrong affects at the state level and across the community.”
About 270,000 parents were expected to receive the $5294 baby bonus this year. From January 1 the Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme will kick in, offering working parents up to 18 weeks of paid leave at $570 a week. Parents will not be able to claim both the baby bonus and paid parent leave.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.