“Since it is about time somebody did, I rise to ask: won’t someone please think of the childless?”
Parliament is supposed to representative of our society. But when it comes to those oppressed and marginalised, the childless amongst us aren’t the first people that spring to mind.
They are the ones usually out enjoying brunch unburdened by strollers and nappy bags, going to Friday night drinks without giving babysitters and dinner plans a second thought and sleeping in instead of having their heads jumped on by hyper youngsters.
But apparently the besieged SINKs and DINKs of the world are the long-forgotten sufferers.
At least according to Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm, who has thanked those who have not procreated and gone out on a limb on their behalf, arguing they shouldn’t have to support parents and children.
“To the childless people of Australia I want to say, on behalf of this parliament, thank you for being childless,” he said, Fairfax Media reports.
“You work for more years and become more productive than the rest of Australia. You pay thousands and thousands of dollars more tax than other Australians. You get next to no welfare and your use of public health services is minimal. But you pay when other people get pregnant, you pay when they give birth, you pay when they stay at home to look after their offspring, you pay for the child’s food, clothing and shelter, you pay when the child goes to child care and you pay when the child goes to primary and secondary school. And then you pay when it goes to university.”Advertisement
He apologised to childless couples and singles for the fact they are often ignored or ostracised.
“Thank you for all you do for others. I am sorry that rather than receiving thanks, you are often ignored, pitied, considered strange, or even thought of as irresponsible,” he said.
“For your sake, I hope the children you are forced to support don’t end up as juvenile delinquents, and I hope that they get immunised so that you don’t end up getting sick, because you’ll pay then too.”
Watch his full speech here:
The senator was speaking in support of the ‘no jab, no pay’ policy, which withholds family payments of up to $15,000 a year from parents who do not have their children vaccinated and was passed by Parliament on Monday.
“It’s bad enough that people continue to bring wave upon wave of these little blighters into the world,” he said.
“The least they can do is immunise their bundles of dribble and sputum, so they don’t make the rest of us sick.”
Senator Leyonhjelm said making childless people fork out for other people’s personal choices was cruel.
“Some people are childless by choice and are happy with that choice. There is no moral case to make them subsidise other people’s choices,” he said.
“For some people, childlessness is not a choice; it is a great sadness. Forcing them to hand over money to more fortunate people is like charity in reverse. It’s like making people in wheelchairs pay for other people’s running shoes.”
“Since it is about time somebody did, I rise to ask: won’t someone please think of the childless?
“The government is not your parent or your spouse — get over it.”