Basically, if a person’s sole source of income is the taxpayer, the person, as a condition of benefit, must have contraception. No contraception, no benefit.
That is the proposal from former Labor minister Gary Johns over in Australia.
Writing for The Australian, Johns says that taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill for other people’s choice to have children.
Stressing the point that it will be for new applicants only, Johns said:
When a person applies for a benefit you have to bring along a note from the doctor, that I have now taken the following drug, and will remain on it while I am on the dole. Most people are not on the dole for that long, that’s a simple thing, and this is about making people make the connection in their mind .. to say “Hello, I am in strife here” and it’s not about getting money for having a child.
Unsurprisingly, his proposal has been met with a split reaction, and has been challenged by welfare groups.
Therese Edwards, head of the National Council for Single Mothers and their Children, said:
It’s ill-informed, poor policy and dangerous because of the stigma it attaches to single parents. It’s a simplistic, weak argument. It’s rare to come across any family who’s struggling on benefits who thinks it’s a wonderful life. They’re more aware of what they’re missing out on.
To an extent, he kind of does have a point. If you are on the dole, as anybody who has been unfortunate to be unemployed will know, you are permanently hard up. There is also the fact that having the baby and the time after the birth will be a substantial amount of time on benefits. So, it isn’t unreasonable to suggest that perhaps having a child while on the dole isn’t a good idea. However, it does come across as a little close to the fascism borderline, and I can fully see why there is strong opposition to the notion.