The one lesson that “The Godfather” movies taught me was that family and money don’t mix.
I’m referring to the recent suggestion made by Families Australia that grandparents should be paid for minding their grandchildren while the parents go to work.
If this scheme goes ahead it will create a nightmare for everyone concerned.
What sort of care is to be funded? How does one define care? Is it merely time spent or will the quality of the time spent be judged as well? Did young Johnnie have a good time with his Nanna and Pop?
Who will be reimbursed, the grandparents or the parents?
Or will it be via some tax deduction? In that case, whose tax bill will benefit? Will it affect the pension status of the grandparents?
How does one legislate for what is going to present one of the biggest potential funding rorts?
Even if the grandparents don’t need the payment won’t they feel tempted to accept it and hand it over to their children? Otherwise the care subsidy will go begging and who can resist a handout for the government? Or will it be means tested?
Let’s face it, no grandparent wants to be accused of looking after the grandkids for the money and I am certain that family squabbles will eventuate. They do already and when money is involved it will lead to terrible conflict.
I’m not advocating that grandparents be constantly available to mind the grandkids for free. Some grandparents will leap at the chance while others will feel that it’s an imposition. But that’s for each family to work out for itself.
More social welfare will only create more red tape. What a nightmare !
There are some, however, who will do it for the money and in times of stress the money thing will rear its ugly head.
The only time that financial assistance should be considered is when the grandparents become the primary carers owing to the proven incapacity or death of the parents themselves.
Secondary care is very difficult to define, assess and reimburse.
We should not be encouraging society to regard grandparent care as something that the state supports financially. There simply isn’t enough money to go around to subsidise every expense. Soon we’ll be claiming for looking after our spouses.
Do we really want to pay more taxes, cause the money has to come from somewhere and that somewhere is the taxpayers’ pocket?
At the end of the day, if it’s paid for then the care becomes a business arrangement and kisses and cuddles should not have a dollar sign over them.
Love can’t be bought and sold. It has to be freely given
Otherwise the government may be mistaken for a pimp and grandparents as prostitutes.