Article type: Original Research

PUBLISHED 1 January 1981

Volume 6 Issue 3

Families & Fiscal Policy

Phillipa Smith

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Phillipa Smith



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This article examines some of the policies and assumptions behind the government’s fiscal policies and family support.

The responsibility for dependent children has become lost in a ‘no mans land’ somewhere between the wages system, the government, and the family itself.

Of particular concern is the erosion of the real value of income, allowance and other support (eg. child care, refuges etc.) for poor families. Alongside the government’s oft quoted concern for the needy has been the actual fall in wellbeing of those most in need (eg. single parents, the unemployed, low income families) while other more traditional family notions have been supported (eg. dependent spouse rebate). In some instances this redistribution has occurred through active policies (eg. family allowances) while in other cases they have come about by ‘non policies’ (eg. failure to index allowances for single parents).

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