House debates

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Child Support and Family Assistance Legislation Amendment (Budget and Other Measures) Bill 2010

Second Reading

12:37 pm

Photo of Chris HayesChris Hayes (Werriwa, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

Family bonds are the link to our own being and, as a guide to our future, we rely on families a lot. As I have said in this place many times in a range of different debates, there is also no doubt about the cost of raising a family—and having three kids myself, and now four grandkids, let me tell you, Mr Deputy Speaker, that it does not stop when they leave school or university. I guess that is one of the things that comes with parenting. There is a commitment to children because that is what we do, that is innate in us as parents. Without trying to put too fine a point on it, there are very real costs in raising children, with cost pressures associated with a range of different things, from school, to sport, to everything else.

Unfortunately, an inescapable fact of life—and this statistic is extraordinary—is that for every, I think, 2.3 or 2.4 marriages or unions there is one separation. That has a real impact not only on the social and emotional wellbeing of the family but also on the financial aspects of raising children. Having been married now, as of last May—I have got this figure right—for 34 years—


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