Premier’s future fund OK for those who can afford it

How generous of our “dedicated and loving father” premier to deliver hope to our children through his “future fund” (“Think of your kids, vote Liberal: premier to appeal to parents”, March 12). The initial payment of $400 would accumulate with future taxpayer contributions matched to parental deposits into the fund. No problem for those on the kind of salaries that the premier and his wife earn, perhaps. But what about those who daily make decisions about whether they can feed their children or pay the rent; those who cannot find the cost of school uniforms, books or excursions; those families who are locked out of home ownership because homes became investment properties? The premier’s future fund for children sounds like a child of the superannuation scheme – aka the tax avoidance scheme for the wealthy which will ensure the gap between the haves and have nots widens even further. Wendy Michaels, Northbridge

The premise that we want our children to have “better opportunities than we did” as espoused by our premier is a double-edged sword. How to do it without coddling the little ones and ensuring they don’t become entitled and out of touch with reality, an arguably common scenario today. Some of us of course grew up with poor opportunities, but is this just a common generational aspiration or are we trying too hard and missing the point? Maybe we should stop worrying so much about our kids and release them from our expectations. Judy Finch, Taree

Once again a scheme that will advantage those who can already afford to make such payments. Those battling to put food on the table and pay rent have no “spare” money. Another example of “middle-class welfare” while we ignore the pleas of the unemployed and single-parent families for real assistance. Why do we judge some people as less deserving than others? Whatever happened to “the land of the fair go”? Jan Kent, Farmborough Heights

Untapped resources

Jacqueline Maley is not alone in being shocked that there’s been no increase in Australian women’s full-time workforce participation rate over the last decades (“PM’s proud of single mum. Will he put his money where his mouth is?”, March 12). It’s even more shocking if we consider what that means: given that the overall participation rate of women has doubled in 60 years, it means the whole of that increase consists of women working part-time. I suggest Maley’s catalogue of women’s precarious work situations applies not only to all part-time but also to some full-time jobs. Maybe the opportunity for women to participate has increased over time, with the availability of more part-time options, but the risk factors and barriers when women do participate have also increased – and that’s shocking too. Workforce surveys invariably identify a significant proportion of under-employed women who need or want more work. Those same surveys often focus on the need for increased migration to plug workforce gaps. It’s time the government encouraged the labour market to recognise and make better use of the untapped resources already available. Jenifer Nicholls, Armadale, (Vic)

Bureaucrat broom

I hope that Chris Minns wins the election, if for no other reason, than to tackle the burgeoning senior staff in most Public Service departments (“Chris Minns’ plan to cut the public service doesn’t add up”, March 12). We now see an inverted triangle where departments are overloaded with top brass, often contradictory decision makers and not enough staff to do the actual work. This long overdue change will not only see a huge saving but hopefully cut down some red tape that has existed for decades. Daniela Catalano, Haberfield

Good America

Your columnist Parnell Palme McGuinness argues that Australians can’t handle the truth (“When the line of duty meets the line of fire”, March 12). She claims that the ’s series Red Alert, tells it like it is and it’s about time we faced up to it – “it” being the strong possibility that we will be at war with China in three years. The US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence both sat in Washington late last week and both issued their Annual Threat Assessment Reports. Neither report talks of imminent war with China or even remotely discusses the possibility. Both reports are detailed and nuanced, and I must say, a wonderful reflection on the just how good the US can be. Michael O’Brien, Armadale (Vic)

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