Thu. May 30th, 2024
alert-–-federal-budget-2024:-john-howard-urges-jim-chalmers-to-bring-back-the-baby-bonusAlert – Federal Budget 2024: John Howard urges Jim Chalmers to bring back the baby bonus

Former prime minister John Howard has called on Treasurer Jim Chalmers to ‘bring back the baby bonus’ in response to ‘s dwindling birth rate.

Mr Howard applauded Dr Chalmers’ hint at a series of incentives for ns to have more children in the federal budget set to be handed down on Tuesday night.

Dr Chalmers’ announcement last week follows news that ‘s birth rate has plummeted to 1.63 in 2022, below the ‘replacement rate’ of 2.1.

It’s been 22 years since the then prime minister Mr Howard and his treasurer Peter Costello, introduced a ‘baby bonus’ in the 2002 budget- a year after ’s birth rate dropped to 1.7.

‘We do need more children and there is high immigration because of a dwindling birth rate,’ Mr Howard told The n on Monday.

Former n prime minister John Howard (pictured) has called for Treasurer Jim Chalmers to reintroduce the 'baby bonus'

Former n prime minister John Howard (pictured) has called for Treasurer Jim Chalmers to reintroduce the ‘baby bonus’

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‘I’m delighted to hear Dr Chalmers promote the birth of more children and invite him to reintroduce the suite of Coalition policies introduced in the 1990s which led to the only rise in the birth rate in 50 years.’

Mr Costello famously promoted the then-Coalition government’s new baby incentives by encouraging women to have one baby for themselves and ‘one for the country’.

Dr Chalmers was more subtle in his address last week.

‘I know that people will make their own choices and I don’t pretend for a moment that the government should direct those choices, but we want to make it easier for people to have bigger families if they want to,’ the Treasurer said. 

One aim of increasing the birth rate is to put less pressure on ‘s immigration program, which is currently running at a record high.

Dr Chalmers (pictured with daughter Annabel) hinted at incentives for ns to have more children in the upcoming Federal Budget in response to the country's dwindling birth rate

Dr Chalmers (pictured with daughter Annabel) hinted at incentives for ns to have more children in the upcoming Federal Budget in response to the country’s dwindling birth rate

Mr Howard highlighted his government’s baby bonus and the introduction of the Family Tax A and B breaks for lifting the country’s birth rate.

Despite this, Dr Chalmers – who has faced backlash for urging parents to have more children during a cost of living crisis – shot down the idea a baby bonus will be included in this year’s budget. 

‘We found a better way to ­support people who make that choice,’ the treasurer said.

Mr Howard remains ‘s second longest serving prime minister who served three terms from 1996 to 2007. 

The former Howard government’s baby bonus scheme initially granted $2,500 in tax cuts per year for parents of newborns.

It was amended to a $3,000 lump-sum payment two years later and had risen to $5,000 made in 13 installments by 2013 when then Labor treasurer Wayne Swan announced it would be abolished

The scheme ended in March 2014. 

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