The latest government scheme aims to help families - but families with a stay at home mother will miss out.
Single parent families or dual income families will get vouchers to subsidise the cost of child care. A dual income family earning up to $437,000 (AUD) will qualify for up to $1750 per child, whereas much poorer single income families will get nothing.
And how did a government spokesman justify this? With this:
Asked whether the Prime Minister was “concerned” that the vouchers scheme was penalising stay-at-home mothers, his official spokesman simply said the measures were “very important as part of supporting those who want to work hard and to get on”. When asked if Mr Cameron believed that stay-at-home parents were less in need of state help than working parents, the spokesman would only say that the Prime Minister wanted to support “aspiration”.Well, good-bye to the value of women staying home to look after their children. It seems that is not "aspirational" enough for Mr Cameron, who prefers women who want to "get on".
In comments that will anger many mothers, the spokesman added: “The announcement is very specifically focusing on helping those who want to work hard and face the very high child care costs.”
The Prime Minister stressed that the Coalition wants to direct its help at parents “who want to go out to work”.
I've discussed in recent posts at this site the liberal assumption that what matters in life is a professional career. It just seems to be assumed by liberals like Cameron that this is the ultimate end or purpose of human existence.
It's an attitude that makes market values dominant. It's also an impractical attitude as most people in society cannot have the kind of creative or high earning professional career that marks what Cameron would define as a successful and completed life.
It even has economic drawbacks. Previous generations of men were raised to be hard-working in part because motherhood was esteemed and a man's labours had the value of creating a space for motherhood and home life to be sustained.
Take away an esteem for motherhood and you undermine some of men's motivation to work beyond the need to provide a minimally comfortable life for themselves alone.