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National challenges Alliance and Greens' support

Jenny Shipley Leader of the Opposition

1 June 2001

National challenges Alliance and Greens' support for benefit cuts

The Alliance and Greens must come clean and say whether they will support Labour's cash grab from parents who pay child support.

"National is shocked that Labour will effectively cut the benefits of 52,000 parents in order to make savings to fund Child Youth and Family," Opposition leader Jenny Shipley said today.

"By increasing the minimum payment of child support from $10 to $12.75 per week Labour is hurting some of the people who need the services of CYFS. This change won't put a cent in the pockets of the children or those caring for them.

"There are 79,000 parents who pay $10 a week. Of those, Treasury estimates 52,000 are beneficiaries.

"Today the Opposition can reveal that this is not a one-off cut. Instead the minimum payment from next year on will be adjusted upwards for inflation. Labour is again demonstrating its lack of concern for those on the lowest incomes. It is ironic, in our view, that Labour will sting low-income earners and beneficiaries to fund CYFS as was claimed in the Budget text.

"Another group of parents will also be paying a lot more each week. Treasury advises an estimated 3,200 liable parents will be affected by the income cap increasing from $67,569 to $84,461.

"A liable parent living alone, with a salary of $85,000, and liable for two children will pay an extra $78 per week. Many middle and upper income earners will be shocked at this revenue grab as well.

"Many liable parents have new family responsibilities. In those cases the money will go from the family household straight to the Government without any child of the liable parent getting any money.

"Labour's backbenchers, the Alliance and Green MPs must come clean and say whether they'll support legislation required to enact these changes," Jenny Shipley said.

Ends

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