April 01, 2005

Make babies, mate.

I spent the first six months of 2004 in Australia, but apparently I missed all the excitement. The federal ("Commonwealth") government has been trying to battle a falling birth rate by offering a $2000+ incentive to bring a baby Aussie into the world. And apparently it's working:

"The 133,400 babies born in the six months ending in September were the most in a half-year period in 14 years, according to recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics." [Associated Press in the Globe and Mail]

This is, of course, not a novel policy idea. Still, Treasurer Peter Costello gave it his own unique twist in announcing the payments in May, 2004:

"You go home and do your patriotic duty tonight." [...] "You should have one for your husband, one for your wife, and one for your country."

A far cry from Pierre Trudeau's "The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation," eh?

Posted by anatole at April 1, 2005 01:09 AM

Didn't this happen in Quebec recently as well? I don't know... $2000 isn't *that* much...

Posted by: Lana at April 3, 2005 08:39 AM

lake powell

Posted by: lake powell at April 19, 2005 02:52 AM