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Big News: Two Inequitable Bills

The Prostitution Reform Bill and the bill on paid parental leave are two of the most discriminatory bills around. I partially support the prostitution bill purely because it will provide sex workers with protection – well, those 18 and over at least. Those under 18 – forget it! The paid parental leave bill discriminates against everybody except the working rich and surely cant be passed in its current form.

The Prostitution Reform Bill, which was supposed to be in the House later this month, now won’t be. Oral submissions are still going on – and there has been another extension – until November. The Christian groups, apparently so far unpersuasive with officials, have called in overseas assistance from Australia. The Festival of Light are making a submission next month. They are a group that had a say in successfully complaining against a bill regulating prostitution in Australia recently. Our bill is different, as it intends to decriminalise prostitution, not just deregulate the industry. Prostitution is decriminalised in New South Wales and ACT, where prostitution hasn’t increased, and legalised in Victoria, where the illegal sector of the industry has rocketed. That’s why nobody wants it legalised.

If this bill goes through – as it must do - the Government will be able to live off the earnings of prostitution a lot more than they do now, as each sex worker will be classed as an employee and it will be harder to dodge the tax police. But at least sex workers will have better working conditions in massage parlours.

Another bill - on paid parental leave - is a lot worse and surely won’t be ratified in it’s current form. The idea of this discriminatory bill is that your job is kept open should you take leave to be a parent once your baby is born. Working mums will receive about 12 weeks salary – an arbitrary amount - while they are in the first months of raising their baby. Dads get two weeks, so they are discriminated for a start purely because they are not the ones giving birth. It also discriminates against students, volunteer workers, and beneficiaries, who won’t get anything. What’s worse is that discriminates against mums who choose to stay at home before they get pregnant – and those on the DPB who don’t have a choice - and it discriminates against part-time and low paid workers who will get less for the same effort of giving birth and breastfeeding. It discriminates against contract workers as the leave entitlement extends only to those who have been paid by the same employer for the previous 12 months. Should the leave come out of the employers pocket, as is likely, the self employed are also discriminated against as they have to cough up the money or their own leave – which is not paid leave at all if they stop work for their “entitlements”.

Like all bills, it certainly doesn’t discriminate against the government - but it does discriminate against the taxpayer and the family. If an MP wants paid parental leave, and the employer is to pay, guess who pays for MP’s to have a baby. That’s right, tax payers like you and me, the Governments employers. It’s already happening, isn’t it Katherine Rich. MP’s want paid parental leave to come out of employers coffers, so tax payers only pay for pregnant MP’s and their partners. Once again bills are drafted out with the best interests of the MP’s, rather than the best interests of the country. Paid parental leave is all about ensuring that taxpayers continue to pay tax while pregnant, but the government will get these mothers back to work as fast as they can so that they can contribute to the economy on one hand, and to contribute to child support in the other. MP’s get paid parental leave as well as childcare at Parliament paid by you and me, their employers. Mums lose out- especially poor ones. The working poor will be compensating the filthy rich – like Katherine Rich, perhaps, who has gone through the birthing and rearing process at the taxpayers expense.

Should the prostitution and paid parental bills go through, it would be better if any money the government receives off the earnings of prostitution, which many consider immoral, went to low paid mothers or home-makers. That will make things fairer.

That’s unlikely. My advice: If you want to get pregnant, make sure you are an MP or in a high paying job – or have a partner who is. Just ensure that you are not self-employed or on contract. That precludes most of us.

If you`re a prostitute and the prostitution law reform bill goes through and you get accidentally pregnant on the job, expect ACC to weasel out of compensating you for a work related personal injury - but they’ll collect employee levies off you. You won’t get paid parental leave, but you may get a tax payer funded abortion.

It’s about the Government drafting – and putting into law - bills that are “fair to all.”

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