Slowly but surely a clearer picture is beginning to emerge over the claims in Australia’s biggest selling Sunday newspaper – including a misguided denouncement by the Editor, no less – that Barnaby Joyce had called for a doubling of the baby bonus.
First, Barnaby’s media release.
And, this from ABC News (emphasis added):
Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce says he is sceptical about the baby bonus and thinks it should be reviewed.
Senator Joyce has disputed News Limited newspaper reports he is pushing Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to make an election commitment to double the bonus to $10,000.
He says the plan to boost the payment was something the Nationals floated before the last election, but he is not in favour of it.
“I have, to be honest, serious concerns with the baby bonus as it is especially when it ends up not being spent so much on the baby, but on problems in certain communities – especially such as alcohol.”
The baby bonus is paid in fortnightly instalments to eligible families with an annual combined income of less than $150,000.
This sounds far more like the practical, objective, well-reasoned, and fair-minded Barnaby Joyce that your humble blogger admires and respects.