‘Freedom of choice does not equate to a right to a government subsidy’


Freedom of Choice is a mantra for the Right – freedom to choose private schools, private hospitals, private transport, and that often means paid for by someone else.

Those on the Right claim they are against socialism, but they are very much for socialism, when it comes to someone else paying their bills.

Them Right are just against socialism when it comes to helping the workers, the old, the sick, the disabled, the returned military, the single mothers – apparently, they don’t deserve government assistance.

And now Tony Abbott’s attempt to woo female voters with his Great Big New Nanny Give-Away is an appeal to the upper classes, because the middle-class and working poor will never be able to afford a nanny in the first place, never mind claiming the tax deduction.

Adele Horin writing in the Sydney Morning Herald (Experts warn of problems subsidising nanny care), looked at one real-life example of how nannies help the ordinary working woman. The example she used was a a group executive at Qantas who is also a non-executive director of Woolworths source here. That just about sums up who Tony Abbott’s target audience is for this policy. If you are not on a board of directors some place, do not think for one minute that Abbott cares for you or your children.

Chris Bowen, Federal ALP member for McMahon – Minister for Immigration and Citizenship has written his opinion on the Nanny-plan as:

The… argument that Mr Abbott puts forward for taxpayer subsidies of nannies is freedom of choice. Families, he says, should be able to choose to use a nanny as a right. We hear similar arguments used by the Liberals to justify their opposition to means testing the private health insurance rebate. But this is a muddled argument. Freedom of choice does not equate to a right to a government subsidy. Having the right to get a nanny is not the same as having the right to have taxpayers pay half the bill. I can’t recall John Stuart Mill arguing that freedom of choice leads to a right to a subsidy paid for by others.

Read more: Nanny state we cannot afford Chris Bowen posted Thursday, 29 March 2012 (emphasis added)

It is easy to see that when Abbott talks about Freedom of choice, he means his choice to lavish the wealth of this country, generated by workers and other taxpayers, upon the upper-classes, if we give him unfettered freedom of being Prime Minister.


image, digital manipulation by @redglitterx
text by @redglitterx
additional text by Chris Bowen: Labor Blog – Nanny state we cannot afford

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