“This is not an equity argument” said Tony Abbott on this morning’s Chat n’ Chew with Fran. “Its’ a watershed social reform, it’s an idea whose time has come?” This was in answer to the first ever half-serious line of questioning on his justification the Coalition’s controversial and iniquitous paid parental leave scheme, because to date the questions have all been focussed only on the funding arrangements.
Fran was attempting (unsuccessfully I might add) to get to the bottom of the story. Why, Mr. Abbott, are highly paid career women to be given more to get up-the-duff than lowly paid scullery maids?
Mr. Abbott’s response sounds so reasonable. “Why shouldn’t everyone get paid at his or her wage?” Indeed Mr. Abbott – Why shouldn’t they? Also while you’re answering that one – What about this one. Why should they? ‘Cause the thing that Mr. Abbott has failed to explain is the reasoning behind this inequity. If this is really about helping Mums – then why isn’t it targeted at the Mum’s who need most help? – Oh but I forgot. “This is not an equity argument”.
Perhaps then it’s a bit of assisted social Darwinism. An incentive designed to get the upper-middle to breed more. Whilst not actually outlawing pregnancy amongst the hoi-polloi – a massive breeding incentive scheme aimed at outbreeding them might do the trick.
Maybe Mr. Abbott’s justification is that the career woman has been contributing more in tax than the scullery maid – and therefore she deserves a bigger kickback? Maybe we’ll see this theory extended to other forms of government service in the future – better Policing for the well-to-do for example, or legal aid subsidies proportional to income, or more government support for well-to-do school kids. Oh no – that’s right – we already have this.
Maybe it’s all just a misunderstanding. Maybe it’s just Mr. Abbott showing that he really does like women and this is the proof.
Whatever the justification – the message to the scullery maid couldn’t be clearer. The sooner you get that Marketing degree and join the smart set the sooner your little fetus gets an even break.