Today on Good Friday for some bizarre reason, Sharman Stone announced the Liberal Party were “exploring policy options for a new childcare approach, including extending existing childcare benefit payments to all in-home carers, including nannies”.
Yes this is serious (April Fool’s Day was yesterday), they’re suggesting a subsidy for nannies. Sometimes I think the Liberal Party just wants to lose. This would have to be the dumbest family/child-care policy since.. oh I don’t know since some fool thought it would be a good idea to tax the top 500 earning companies in Australia to pay for a paid parental leave scheme for everyone that would actually give more money to people purely because they earn more.
When Abbott (and Stone) announced that policy I suggested those on $150k plus could use the money to employ a nanny, now it seems Sharman Stone thinks not only should they be able to use the money from the Government in the form of the Paid Parental Leave to pay for a nanny, but they should also get a tax break for doing so.
Have a look at what Stone said in defence of her plan:
“It should not be dismissed out of hand on the basis that it's for rich mothers. For many mothers it is the only option."
Now maybe I’ve lived a sheltered life, but I have never known anyone who employs a nanny, nor I think have I met anyone who knows of someone who employs a nanny. In New York or London? Sure, but nannies are not part of the Australian culture. And any political party pushing a line that not only should they become more common, but that the Government should subsidise us for them is just conceding credibility on any family/child care issues.
Stone also said:
"A lot of families are really struggling to find the right care. Families are saying to me why can't we have in-home care."
Yeah sure, I’d love a nanny. I’d also like a house cleaner and a gardener. Do I think I need one? No. Do I think the Government should subsidise me for one? Hell no. Just because people would like something, doesn’t mean the Government should chip in to help pay it.
But on a serous note, should I get my Government subsidised nanny, I won’t be wanting any old girl working in a bridal shop in Flushing Queens, whose boyfriend just kicked her out in one of those crushing scenes coming by to take care of my kids. A Mrs Doubtfire type? Thank you no. How about Scarlett Johansson from The Nanny Diaries? Well I wouldn’t mind, but I think my wife might have a word or two to say about it.
No my Government subsidised nanny has be bloody special – she better be able to clean up the house with a bit of magic, fly around the place with her magic umbrella, and know that a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. She also had better be able to teach my girls to sing Do Re Mi and to say goodnight in perfect harmony… oh and she should also be able to make play-clothes out of curtains.
That’s right a combination of Mary Poppins and Maria von Trapp - anything less, and I’m demanding Stone resign!