Costello inspires baby boom

Former treasurer Peter Costello’s appeal for Australians to have “one for mum, one for dad and one for your country” has not been taken lightly.

In the five years since Mr Costello unveiled a new plan to provide a financial incentive for couples to have a sprog or two, fertility rates have shot up, new figures indicate.

According to the Melbourne Institute, as many as 12,000 extra babies were born between 2004 and 2006, with fertility rates increasing 3.2 per cent during the period.

“If the baby bonus hadn’t worked and our estimates are correct, probably those 12,000 (additional) kids born in 2006 wouldn’t have been born,” said the institute’s Professor Mark Wooden.

And those couples struggling with credit card payments or home loan commitments may find further support should they commit to having another child as Kevin Rudd is currently considering turning the $5,000 baby bonus into a wider maternity leave support scheme.

In 2007, ABC reported that when census figures suggested a baby boom, Mr Costello was more than happy to take credit for it.ADNFCR-1761-ID-19033126-ADNFCR