My father reached his 77th birthday two weeks ago. I love him dearly and I don’t like to disagree with him but in the last few years he’s become obsessed by, what he calls, the blight of single mothers. It started out with his bitching about the cost of welfare payments. He used to complain all the time about aborigines getting welfare until my youngest brother, who works for an aboriginal corporation near Lake Alexandrina, convinced him that, if aborigines were so well off, why did they have such short lives and high infant mortality rates compared to the rest of Australians.
As I say, he was sort of convinced that nobody would choose to live the way aborigines are forced to if they had a choice, but no one has been able to budge him on his attitude about single mothers. A typical conversation might go;
“How’s the weather in Adelaide, Dad, cold is it?”
“Shocking son, bloody shocking, I’ve kept the heater going full bore, day and night, but I can’t seem to keep warm, your mother and I spend half our lives in bed.”
“That sounds like fun, you’d be the envy of a lot of people.”
“Nah,” he’d say “gets boring with nothing to do after you’ve read the Advertiser, probably mean a new crop of single mothers though, I bet they get up to mischief when it’s cold like this.”
If the Adelaide Crows have a bad day, it’s the fault of those single mothers that are cohabiting with the players; spending down on Education, it’s all those little buggers from single parent families using up the school funds; crime rates up, the fault of single mothers unable to keep their children under control; more evidence of anti social behaviour, no male role models!
I don’t know how old the Professor is, but it sounds as though he’s suffering from the same syndrome as my father. I think it’s a mixture of ignorance and prurience; teenagers unlucky enough to get caught were either forced to marry the father or banished from their homes in my dad’s day so I doubt if he’s ever met a single mother in the flesh so to speak.
I suspect the same may be said of the the denizen of the Billabong. Maybe Mrs Bunyip’s not putting out these days, or perhaps the Bunyip fantasizes about young, nubile, women in their childbearing prime with flat stomachs, firm gluteals and moist ….. (have to stop now). Whatever the cause, there’s no excuse for his tawdry attempt at dumping on Gianna.
As far as I can see from the statistics here and here show that the proportion of Parenting Payments Single (PPs) is less than and increasing more slowly than disability payments. Projections of Commonwealth demographic spending show increasing spending for disability and static spend on PPs (the really scary projections are for Pharmaceutical Benefits).
Another paper entitled Habtemariam Tesfaghiorghis, (is this FaCS code for Read these Statistics at Your Peril) for ‘Projections of the number of Income Support recipients: 20012051’ is comprised of a set of income support projections aimed at providing a perception of the impact of demographic change on income support client numbers over the next five decades, 2001 to 2051. Briefly, the projections suggest:
There will be little change to the numbers of working-age income support recipients in the next 50 years, particularly among those aged 1544 years. This is a consequence of the slow growth of the working-age population.
Future increases in the working-age income support groups will be concentrated in the ‘immediate future’ between 2001 and 2011, and between 2011 and 2021, in the 5064 age group, primarily due to their strong population growth, as well as their higher rates of income support receipt.
In absolute and relative terms, most of income support growth will be concentrated in the 65 years and over population.
I’m not real good at stats (I’d rather take the lies, damn lies etc. approach) and perhaps Quiggers, Jason Soon or some of the other economists that visit this site could provide a better interpretation, but it seems to me that good old Stanley better stop worrying about payments to single mothers and start worrying about who is going to pay the taxes necessary to keep him in the nursing home.
And if he gets Gianna sufficiently offside then perhaps it will be today’s single mums that remind their taxpaying children of the shit that was thrown by those grumpy old bunyips in the Billabong Nursing Home. You don’t want to be sharing a kero bath with Bronny now, do you Professor ?