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Reforming family support policy in Australia

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journal contribution
posted on 05.05.2017, 04:14 authored by McDonald, Peter
What has happened to the Prime Minister’s ‘barbeque stopper’ issue — reform of policy to support the combination of work and family? Halfway through this term of parliament, we have no new policies on this issue from either the Government or the Opposition. Despite this relative silence, it seems that the issue will not go away. This paper first discusses the problems with the present family support system in Australia within a framework of desirable principles. The principles addressed include recognition of the social value of children, neutrality in the tax-transfer system in relation to the work arrangements of parents, gender neutrality, the acceptance of changes that involve people who lose from the changes that are made, coordination of family supports provided by government with those provided by employers, simplicity and transparency, and the need for quality early childhood education. On the basis of this assessment, the paper then proposes a multi-faceted, essentially cost-neutral reform package Copyright. Monash University and the author/s


Date originally published



People and place, vol. 11, no. 2 (2003), p. 1-15. ISSN 1039-4788

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