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Why isn't the government doing more to help millennials afford kids?

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There are two forces in life pushing me to have another baby.

The first is my three-year-old son. He’s in a kinder class full of children with newborn siblings or whose parents are expecting another child. After his valiant suggestion that my husband could be the one to have a baby this time around, I’ve since bargained him down to a kitten and then, ultimately, a Transformer. Well played, mum.

Jamila Rizvi is sick of the federal budget overestimating the birth rate.Credit:Anna Robinson

The second set of expectations is coming at me direct from the federal government. Buried deep in the 2019-2020 budget papers is an assumption that Australia’s birth rate will rise to a whopping 1.9 babies per woman. Apparently, that’s going to happen within just three short years.

It isn’t a new assumption. Every year since Hockey’s 2015 Intergenerational Report, budget modelling has assumed Australian women are going to embark on a breeding frenzy. It’s a prediction that’s proven patently false.

Australia’s birth rate has been falling for almost a decade, reaching its lowest point in recorded history in 2017 at below 1.75. It’s part of a long-term trend that’s mirrored across the developed world. People are living longer and "settling down" later,........

© Brisbane Times