Baby bonus cuts upset local mums

Bobbi-Lea Saul pictured with her daughter Mackenzie Southerland, 2 is expecting her second child just before the governements changes to the baby bonus. Photo: Inga Williams / The Satellite
Bobbi-Lea Saul pictured with her daughter Mackenzie Southerland, 2 is expecting her second child just before the governements changes to the baby bonus. Photo: Inga Williams / The Satellite Inga Williams

AS a mother of a two-year-old daughter, Forest Lake's Bobbi-Lea Saul knows only too well the cost of raising children.

Considering clothes, health care, baby gear, child care and other essentials, Mrs Saul said the price tag of bringing a new life into the world could be enormous.

Which is why she said some families may be concerned about Treasurer Wayne Swan's announcement last week of cuts to the baby bonus from $5000 to $3000 for second and subsequent births.

Cuts were made to help pay for a collapse in government revenue and mining tax and a $1 billion blow-out in asylum seeker costs.

Mrs Saul, who will have her second child in January, said the cuts could make the idea of having a second child less attractive.

"A few families may struggle as a result of the more children they have," she said.

"These days you need two wages to survive, and the cost of living and child care is getting higher."

Families Minister Jenny Macklin said the change recognised that families bought big-ticket nursery items when their first child was born, and tended to reuse them for their younger children.

Ms Macklin said the expensive items such as the cot, pram, change table and baby capsule were generally reused for younger siblings.

But Mrs Saul, who is expecting a boy, said she would have to purchase more items that were gender specific.

"At the moment I have all girls' stuff that I won't be able to reuse for my second child," she said.

"And there is still always expenses like nappies...and taking time off work."

Mrs Saul said a more appealing option to her than the baby bonus was Parental Leave Pay.

The scheme allows eligible working parents to claim up to an 18-week payment at the rate of the national minimum wage.

Changes to the baby bonus will take effect on July 1, 2013.

It is expected to save $461 million over three years, including $169 million in 2013/14.

Topics:  funding cuts

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