The government is currently considering a proposal from the Productivity Commission for a new maternity allowance whereby the taxpayer will fund 18 weeks leave for working mothers at the minimum wage, or about $12,000 in total.
Initially it was reported that this would entirely replace the baby bonus, but now it seems that stay at home mothers will still receive the baby bonus, so nothing has changed in that regard.
Apparently employers will have to fund this initially and then make a claim for a refund from the government. This would seem to be a rather unfair impost on small business.
I can understand, I suppose, the thought that maternity leave will encourage more women to join the workforce, and I guess someone will have done the sums to work out that the $12,000 per person is a worthwhile investment, but I would really like to have seen the damn baby bonus wiped out.
Just too many young women with too many kids - which they put into child care - who have never worked and see no reason to ever consider working as long as they can live quite happily on welfare.
What do others think?