Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Parents Must Take Financial Responsibility

Media Statement
For immediate release
Tuesday, 28 June 2005

Turner: Parents must at least take financial responsibility for children

United Future deputy leader Judy Turner today congratulated Social Development Minister Steve Maharey for following United Future's suggestion to allow the State the authority to file for child support when custodial parents refuse to do so.

"There has been a lot of focus on penalising parents on the DPB who refuse to name the other parent, but it is less well-known that the penalty also applies to those who refuse to apply for child support, even if all and sundry know who the liable parent is," Mrs Turner said.

During the parliamentary debate over recent legislation to increase these penalties in April, United Future tried to amend the Bill to allow the State to file for child support if the identity of the other parent is known but the sole parent refuses to apply for child support. "In these situations, the issue is not who is liable, but about whether they should be made liable. Absent parents not only deny their children their presence in the home, but also their associated financial support."

Research by the Ministry of Social Development indicates that there are three common reasons why sole parent beneficiaries do not apply for Child Support even though the identity of the liable parent is not in question:

1. If the liable parent is in a position, and is willing, to pay more than the penalty in support of their child, it can be in the sole parent beneficiary's financial interest to have a direct payment from their liable parent rather than to make an application for Child Support. Apparently, both Work and Income and IRD staff often point out this loophole to sole parent beneficiaries when they are making a decision about whether to apply for Child Support. In some cases, this private financial arrangement is a specific trade-off for not applying for child support.

2. If a sole parent beneficiary is secretly living with the liable parent they may be reluctant to initiate a process that might lead officials to match their addresses. It's also not in their interests for Child Support to be deducted from the household income, even if they can avoid being found out. If the liable parent is also on a benefit then it is much more likely that the nature of their relationship would be discovered through an application for Child Support.

3. There is a reluctance among some people, but especially beneficiaries, to deal with state agencies - something that an application for Child Support would inevitably involve.

"Clearly, none of these are particularly compelling reasons not to seek some form of Child Support from the liable parent. Secret arrangements may mean that in reality the child is being supported by the liable parent, but the system of child support is there to ensure that liable parents are held financially responsible for their children," Mrs Turner said.

Ends.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news