In my previous post I suggested that the baby bonus encouraged some women to have babies for the money. While I concede that this is not always the main reason for having babies, statistics have come out to show that many more babies were born on July the first than on the previous day. Why? Well, on the 1st July the payment for having a baby went up by $742.
If you are surprised by this information, then I invite you to read the following extract from The Daily Telegraph newspaper on the 13th September:-
The NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages figures show there were 363 births in NSW on July 1.
The day before there was 243 births when the Baby Bonus was worth only $4258.
Throughout 2007 the average was 255 a day, and according to a Registry spokeswoman the number every day “normally doesn’t vary all that much”.
The spike prompted claims yesterday that private hospitals may have risked unnecessary complications by delaying births.
The figures also led NSW Health to warn midwives and obstretician (sic) that any fudging of birth dates to get extra money for patients was misconduct and complaints “would be investigated”.</blockquote
When a certain Professor Gans made that observation in 2006 from figures that he an Andrew Leigh had studied he was howled down by indignant mothers and doctors. He has been proven correct though and now he and Andrew are being quoted in earnest. Here is an extract from the same article:-
The figures confirm research done by academics Joshua Gans and Andrew Leigh that showed in 2006 birth dates were moved.
Professor Gans said last night the NSW figures were evidence that some expectant mothers had “with their doctors’ permission” changed birth dates.
Some mothers may think that it doesn’t matter what day the baby is born and that they might as well get the extra cash, but it is unethical and illegal to fudge dates and figures considering that these women are already getting a windfall for giving birth. The other problem is that it may be dangerous to the baby to postpone delivery and then who will pay for any medical problems? We the people of Australia, of course.
It was interesting to read that one couple admitted that they were going to use the money to fly to the Philippines to show off their baby. The bonus is meant to help pay for nappies and other expenses incurred by the delivery and yet these people think it is okay for them to have a holiday at our expense. Plasma bonus indeed!