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Benefit-Born Kids Not Fair On Taxpayer Or Kids

Media Statement
For immediate release
Wednesday, 10 November, 2004

Turner: Benefit-born kids not fair on taxpayer or kids

United Future social services spokeswoman Judy Turner released figures in Parliament today showing that 26,794 children have been born to women currently receiving benefits while they were on those benefits.

"And that is doing a disservice both to the taxpayers funding these families and the children themselves, who are being born to parents who cannot support them," Mrs Turner said.

Last month, she revealed that over the past five years, 44,793 beneficiaries have had additional children while on the benefit.

New figures obtained from the Associate Minister of Social Development and Employment, Rick Barker, reveal that one woman has had eight additional children while on a benefit. Three beneficiaries have had seven, 13 have had six, 85 have had five, 351 have had four, 1378 have had three, and 5120 have had two additional children while on a benefit. Some 19,843 women have had one additional child on a benefit.

"Notwithstanding the odd accident, and those who were pregnant before they went on a benefit, I don't think it's fair on either the taxpayer or the child to have additional children on the benefit.

Last month a report from the Public Health Advisory Committee concluded that children "have a right to be protected from poverty".

"That, first and foremost, is the responsibility of the parents," Mrs Turner said.

"I think everyone would agree that it is difficult to raise a family on a benefit - after all, working families often have to delay children until they can afford it."

"The Government has to ask some hard questions of these beneficiaries, some of whom are clearly making a choice to have children on a benefit.

"Regardless of any extra payments from the State that they may become eligible for, beneficiaries having additional children are likely to stay on the benefit, and out of the labour market, for much longer than they would otherwise."


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