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    I can’t find a clear connection between the implementation of the Baby Bonus and an increase in ‘older or obese’ women giving pregnancy. On first principles, one would think a Baby Bonus would encourage younger women (who are perhaps, but not necessarily, slimmer) to have babies, rather than their usually wealthier, older sisters.

    The increase in the median age of women giving birth in Australia from 2003 to 2007 has been miniscule, from 30.5 to 30.7 years. This in fact represents a flattening in the historical rise in the age of mothers over the last forty years. In 1970, the median age of women giving birth in Australia was 25.6 years; in 1980, 26.6 years; in 1990, 28.3 years; and in 2002, 30.2 years.

    Attributing the recent increase in the number of births in Australia to the Baby Bonus is one thing. Blaming the Baby Bonus for an increase in the number of complicated births is quite another.

  2. 2

    Jan Sweet

    agree that there were many of the unintended consequences of the Baby Bonus which were very predictable – e.g. consultation with workers in the areas of community health, social services might have given some healthy insights.

  3. 3

    Jon Hunt

    I am a little surprised that no-one has mentioned the social consequences of the payment, where the benefit could not possibly go anywhere near the cost of bringing up the child. If you are silly enough to have another child just for the money, you are probably silly enough not to consider the long term implications of this.

    Most of my experience has been with Aboriginal people, where quite young mothers have one, two, three or more kids whilst on welfare. There’s often coexisting social disasters meaning the kids are usually looked after by grandmother or auntie. The last thing I think they would want is to have to look after even more. Similarly, there will be even more work for the underfunded and resource stretched Government support agencies.


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