Posted on December 31, 2014

Former Labor Minister Gary Johns Suggests Linking the Dole to Contraception

News, December 30, 2014

No contraception, no dole–hat’s the view of an ex-Labor Minister who believes welfare should be linked to compulsory contraception.

Gary Johns, writing in The Australian, suggests there should be “no taxpayer inducement to have children”.

The former MP who served in the Keating government admits such a measure will “undoubtedly affect strugglers, [and] . . . Aboriginal and Islander people in great proportions”.

“But the idea that someone can have the taxpayer, as of right, fund the choice to have a child is repugnant.”

According to Mr Johns larger families of past generations “were the result of the combination of absent contraception and the need to have many children, in order that some survive to care for parents in old age”.

But he says such conditions now don’t apply.

“Infant mortality is minuscule in all sectors of society, and the taxpayer picks up the tab for aged care.

“Potential parents of poor means, poor skills or bad character will choose to have children. So be it.

“But no one should enter parenthood while on a benefit.”

The ex-Minister claims “it is better to avoid having children until such time as parents can afford them”.

“No amount of ‘intervention’ after the fact can make up for the strife that many parents bring down on their ­children.”

Mr Johns goes on to cite two recent examples over Christmas.

“Both happened to be indigenous, but of course, many non-indigenous cases abound,” he says.

“The first, in Cairns, involved a single mother with nine children from five fathers.

“Better this woman had fewer children. Better men on benefits also could be prevented from having children.”

Many social media users have taken to Twitter to express their views after reading Johns’s piece.