How generous of our prime minister “caring and loving father” to provide hope for our children through his “future fund” (“Think of your children, vote Liberal: Prime Minister to appeal to parents“, March 12). The $400 down payment would be accumulated by future contributions from taxpayers matched by parental deposits into the fund. Perhaps no problem for those with the kind of salaries earned by the prime minister and his wife But what about those who make daily decisions about whether they can feed their children or pay rent, those who can’t find the cost of school uniforms, books, or field trips, those families who can’t own a home because homes became investment properties?The future prime minister’s children’s fund sounds like a child of the superannuation scheme aka the tax avoidance scheme for the rich which will ensure that the gap between those who have and those who have not expand even more. wendy michaels, north bridge
The premise that we want our children to have “better opportunities than we had”, as our Prime Minister defended, is a double-edged sword. How to do it without coddling the little ones and making sure they don’t lose their right and lose touch with reality, a possibly common scenario today. Some of us, of course, grew up with few opportunities, but is this just a common generational aspiration, or are we trying too hard and not understanding? Maybe we should stop worrying so much about our children and release them from our expectations. Judy Finch, Taree
Once again, a scheme that will benefit those who can already afford to make such payments. Those struggling to put food on the table and pay rent don’t have “spare” money. Another example of “middle class welfare” while we ignore the pleas of the unemployed and single parents for real help. Why do we judge some people as less deserving than others? What happened to “the land of fairs”? Jan Kent, Farmborough Heights
Jacqueline Maley is not alone in being surprised that there has not been an increase in the full-time labor participation rate for Australian women in recent decades (“PM is proud to be a single mother. Will he put his money where her mouth is?, March 12). It’s even more shocking when we consider what that means: Since the overall participation rate for women has doubled in 60 years, it means that all of that increase consists of women working part-time. I suggest that Maley’s catalog of women’s precarious employment situations applies not only to all part-time jobs but to some full-time jobs as well. Perhaps the opportunity for women to participate has increased over time, with the availability of more part-time options, but the risk factors and barriers when women participate have increased as well, and that too is impressive. Labor force surveys invariably identify a significant proportion of underemployed women who need or want more work. Those same surveys often focus on the need for more migration to fill gaps in the labor force. It is time for the government to encourage the labor market to recognize and make better use of the untapped resources that are already available. Jenifer Nicholls, Armadale, (Victoria)
I hope Chris Minns wins the election, if for no other reason than to cope with the growing senior staff in most Public Service departments (“Chris Minns’ plan to cut public service doesn’t add up“, March 12). We now see an inverted triangle where departments are overburdened with senior managers, often conflicting decision-makers, and not enough staff to do the actual work. This long-awaited change will not only bring huge savings, it will hopefully cut down on some red tape that has been around for decades. Daniela Catalano, Haberfield
His columnist Parnell Palme McGuinness argues that Australians can’t handle the truth (“When the line of duty meets the line of fire“, March 12). She claims that the Heraldseries of Red alertHe tells it like it is and it’s about time we face it – “it” is the big chance that we’ll be at war with China in three years. The US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence met in Washington late last week and both issued their Annual Threat Assessment Reports. None of the reports speak of an imminent war with China or even remotely discuss the possibility. Both reports are detailed and nuanced, and I have to say they are a wonderful reflection of how good America can be. Michael O’Brien, Armadale (Victory)
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