End of year baby bonus rush

The Sydney Morning Herald has an article today that quotes me on what might happen when the means test for the baby bonus comes in at the beginning of next year.

He said a similar phenomenon could be expected up to the end of the year.

“The good news is that it won’t affect too many families.

“The bad news is that even for them $5000 tax-free is enough money to think about,” he said.

Professor Gans said a similar incentive in the US tax system makes the last week of December a very busy one and “I think we can expect the same [in Australia] this year”.

But here is the bit that really surprised me. The professions are only too happy to help:

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists women’s health committee chairman Ted Weaver said most medical staff would accommodate requests to induce labour or perform a caesarean section a few days early.

“It’s important we help patients out financially and help them get as many shekels from the Government as they can but only if it does not compromise the welfare of the mother or her baby,” he said.

Now a few months back there was a controversy about whether the delays to childbirth when the baby bonus was introduced and increased were a bad thing or not. The argument put forward was that planned birth timing generally led to too early a birthday and that some delay would be a good thing. Presumably, the proponents of that argument will be up in arms at policies that cause parents to time their births earlier.

One thought on “End of year baby bonus rush”

  1. I am amazed that people continue to discuss this. It is obvious that birthing times will be changed and it would be most unexpected if it didn’t. It is also obvious that it is likely to be harmful to some children and it is most unlikely to be beneficial.


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