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Reality Shock For United Future

Reality Shock For United Future

Last year, United Future voted to further entrench the DPB's role in society , said Lindsay Mitchell, speaking on behalf of a group fighting for a Parliamentary review of this benefit. "Now, ironically, their family affairs spokeswoman, Judy Turner, is highlighting the problems faced by the growing number of grandparents left raising their grandchildren with no financial help."

"Since launching a petition calling for the DPB to be reviewed I have been contacted by many grandparents with similar stories to those Ms Turner describes. She mentions how often the grandparents are contested for custody, at their expense, because the children would provide a source of income to their mother or father. She mentions grandparents left to raise their grandchildren because of family breakdown. She mentions a daughter's partner threatening violence to grandparents should they reveal a false application for the DPB."

"I agree with Judy Turner that while the current system endures those grandparents should be helped BUT even more importantly, the culture surrounding the DPB has to go. It is the culture of producing children from casual, fragile or even one-off relationships that brings so much grief to grandparents."

" In addition to those grandparents who are left to pick up the pieces, thousands more never get to see their grandchildren because the mother, having broken relations with the father, also breaks with his parents. It is heartbreaking for these people."

"It is regrettable that Judy Turner hadn't been exposed to these realities before she convinced her party to vote to make the DPB more attractive," Mitchell concluded.

Lindsay Mitchell

Petitioner for a Parliamentary Review of the DPB

e-mail dandl.mitchell@clear.net.nz ph/fx 04 562 7944

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