Should mums who stay at home with their kids get a look-in with the Paid Parental Leave Scheme? This writer says yes.
Going back to work after having a child is a choice.
Staying home with that child is a choice.
It may not be an easy choice, or one that everyone is willing to make sacrifices for, but none the less, for many of us, it is a choice.
For me, making the choice to stay home with my children meant huge changes in our financial situation, but for my husband and myself, it was important enough to do it.
In going from two incomes to one while supporting more mouths at the table, of course things needed to get a whole lot tighter. But to us, the sacrifices we make for me to be able to stay with our children are reasonable and justified.
Which is why the debate about whether or not all parents, not just working ones, should be involved in the new Paid Parental Leave scheme makes me uncomfortable. Because amid many voices to the contrary, I believe that yes, if the Government is going to give, it should give to all, or to none.
There is not one single arrangement that will suit all parents, of course.
Single parent families obviously have different requirements than nuclear families, and the Government has additional payments on top of the Paid Parental Leave allowance to support those without a partner, and so they should.
And I know that the Baby Bonus still stands for Stay At Home Mums, but the gap between that and the amount that the PPL will provide Working Mums is enormous. So I do think that the PPL scheme is discriminatory if it is simply based on your decision to return to paid work or stay within the home.
It is a decision to have children, and I do not believe for one second that it's the Government's role to pay for your choices. Most women in this situation have paid income taxes at some point in their life - even if they are not right at the time that their child is born - and therefore, have earned the right to government assistance if it is being provided to others.
Often, deciding to stay home with the children means that your family is worse off financially than those who choose to return to work, and therefore more deserving.
As a Stay At Home Mum, this is what I would like to see in order to properly support families: Yes, if you're going to have a Paid Parental Leave scheme which is paid only to those who have returned to full time paid employment, also allow families where one partner has remained at home to income-split for tax purposes.
This would mean a better and more effective tax break for the sole income earner, therefore allowing more of the income to stay within the family.
And wouldn't that be better for parents and children?
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