When you join the dots on social engineering, the baby question raises its
soft, sweet-smelling head. The SMHcarries a lead story on the so-far unrecognised (or perhaps only unquantified)
value to Australia, maybe especially to the mothers and babies in question, of
breast feeding. $2.2 billion per year, not to be sneezed at. To be encouraged – just like motherhood.

But isn’t it also tax avoidance? In the days before, the same paper was full of
the need to crack down on tax cheats. In the same issue, the tax office is
reported to be crowing about shrinking the black economy.

Well hello, those damned breast feeders are driving a truck through the black
economy. Surely a zealous tax collector is already working out how much mothers
should be taxed on the value of the breast milk they produce? There seem two
choices: either tax actual production, with a levy on the producers or the
consumers (no exemption for age of consumer), or tax imputed production. More

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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