Freedom Vouchers

As if there was any doubt.

The passage of the same sex marriage laws have created calls for yet more legislation around religious freedom and religious rights one side and various additional anti-discrimination measures on the other side.  The key battle is whether religious based organisations should be able to discriminate against certain groups, eg LGBTI or persons of other religious.

Arguments for discrimination in support of the above are about freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.  Arguments against the above are about permitting discrimination that is otherwise not permitted under legislation, and especially by organisations receiving tax payer funding.

And before the usual suspects jump in about whether there should be anti discrimination legislation or whether taxes should be collected and (re)distributed to such organisations, eg religious based schools, hospitals and aged care facilities, the fact is that this currently occurs.  If and when Governments stop doing this, then we can have a different discussion.

Rather than clogging the system with more legislation and rewarding the lawyers and human rights types, why not just change the operating model.  Instead of the government giving money to schools, hospitals and aged care facilities that may engage in discrimination, why not just issue vouchers to citizens to buy school, hospital and aged care services.  Let’s call them Freedom Vouchers.  This way, the end consumer rather than a distant Canberra based bureaucrat or a well fed Human Rights Commission employee will be able to chose what kind of service they wish to purchase or not purchase.

And having done that, perhaps the Government can repeal all the discrimination acts and get out of the marriage business all together.   And abolish the Human Rights Commission also.

Yes this is not ideal (other than abolishing the Human Rights Commission which would be ideal).  But it is slightly less not deal than having more prescriptive legislation and an large bureaucracy to oversee it.

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4 Responses to Freedom Vouchers

  1. Bruce of Newcastle

    The problem with Freedom Vouchers is that voters might spend them on some service which isn’t part of the collective. Un-unionised even. Can’t have that. The prey mustn’t be allowed to escape.

  2. entropy

    I am dealing with a quite senior state education bureaucrat at the moment around remote education. The discussion centred around boosting the living away from home allowance for kids that live more than 50 km away from the nearest school (it doesn’t cover half of the cost of boarding, and they also get a lump of federal money for the private school fees). She hates it she does, would ideally like to eliminate it. Public money should only go to state schools etc. I asked where this state school was where these kids would go to board? Crickets…then, through gritted teeth: “there are other options”. I guess she means governess (not a good idea for a fifteen year old boy, but I digress) or distance ed. There is also the ‘mum and kids live in town while Dad works the place alone during the week’ option too. It works real well for marriages, and mental health.

  3. The thing a out vouchers is that you don’t need Senior education bureaucrats. And that is their problem.

  4. I’m all for the government getting out of the marriage business, but I’m not sure they should entirely.
    e.g. How do you stop muzzies marrying four 12 year olds if government doesn’t give a toss about marriage?

    There has to be some role for government.

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