Government Answers More Questions on 14,000 Father
Government figures released today answer some questions surrounding the 14,000 fathers escaping financial responsibility for their children under section 70A of the Domestic Purposes Benefit.
ACT Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman this month released figures showing the numbers of women receiving a lower section 70A DPB payment because they could not or would not name the father of their children has been increasing by nearly 1,000 per year for the last six years.
“We have a very unfair situation where mothers on their own are raising their children on a reduced benefit and it’s clear from the Government’s response to this worrying trend that they have no idea why.
“Following widespread public concern, I asked the Government for a copy of the reasons mothers have given for being unable or unwilling to name the father. I was told they were ‘unable to provide the member with this information as the Department of Work and Income do not collect data on section 70A deductions by reason category.’
“However the Government has now put together for me a breakdown by age, ethnicity and region.
“The Minister has already stated that he won’t begin to address this issue until late July. I will be asking him for the exact date on which he plans to implement this project, for the protocols that he will need to put in place so that the proper data is collected, and, more importantly, for what he plans to do to make sure that these 14,000 fathers are making a fair contribution to the raising of their children,” said Dr Newman.