With the exceptions of the current account deficit and poor balance of trade figures, it seems there’s nothing that escapes Federal Treasurer Peter Costello’s desire to claim the credit. In question time on Thursday, Government backbencher Phillip Barresi obligingly pitched this Dorothy Dixer to the Treasurer:
My question is addressed to the Treasurer. Would the Treasurer inform the House of the latest ABS statistics on births and fertility rates? What policies has the government put in place which have helped families in my electorate of Deakin and right across Australia? Why is this important for the future?The Permanent PM in Waiting was pleased to announce that fertility rates were up – from 1.78 births per female over her reproductive life to 1.83 – the highest rate in 11 years. And of course, it’s all thanks to the Howard government that Aussie couples are rooting more and, more to the point, rooting more productively. That’s more than you can say for what they’re doing in the workplace, where productivity hasn’t grown over two years.
We’re still a bit shy of the Treasurer’s fertility target – 2.1 births per reproductive female, so the Treasurer repeated his call for Australians to have “One for Mum, one for Dad, and one for the country.” Don’t forget, there’s a total of $1800 in baby bonuses for couples who meet their quota.
I’m happy, this inaugural Blue Balls Day to partially endorse the Treasurer’s call – Aussies should be shagging more. So tonight would be a good night to get into the bedroom and have one for yourself, one for your partner and one to video-tape and send off to the Treasurer. Gay couples too – the Treasurer can sort out which tapes he actually wants to watch for himself.
Cross-posted at Larvatus Prodeo.