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Another Ineffectual Maharey Move

Another Ineffectual Maharey Move

Mr Maharey has announced he is going to raise the penalty for not naming the liable parent of a child being raised on the DPB. "What a difference that will make! Perhaps instead of deducting $22 a week from her benefit, he'll deduct $24," said petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB, Lindsay Mitchell, today.

"Maharey is completely missing the point. It is not the details that need attending to - it's the very availability of this benefit."

"Young women today are far more likely to proceed with a pregnancy for the very reason that the state will play the financial father role. Many have no interest in what the real father wants. He is irrelevant. On the other hand, he may be worse than irrelevant. She has no interest in naming him or allowing him any rights to guardianship or even contact. Lets face it. After the point of conception he has absolutely no legal say in what happens next."

"Or she may be colluding with the father to keep him out of the child support system. Raising the penalty will simply raise the cost of collusion."

"In 1971, just before the DPB was introduced, the percentage of births to unmarried mothers was 14. It is now forty two. In 1971 eighty three percent of the children born out of wedlock (2,700), were adopted out. By 2002, total adoptions from within and overseas had fallen to 600."

"Clearly there now exists an acceptance that it is okay for the stranger, the taxpayer, to take financial responsibility for a child's upbringing but it is less than ideal to allow a couple, with the means and desire, to take that same responsibility."

"Before the DPB we had 'shotgun' marriages. Now, with the sometimes terrible social consequences of fatherlessness and welfare dependency, it would seem that all we have done is exchange one ill for another far worse."

"Men are constantly blamed for abdicating their parenting responsibilities but the truth is today's social policy has given women all the rights and choice. With all manner of easily accessible contraception and the morning-after-pill, is there even any need to be in a situation where one is deciding to raise a baby courtesy of the state?"

"With rights come responsibilities - trite but so true. A woman choosing to become a single parent should not have the ability to do so at the taxpayers expense."

Lindsay Mitchell Petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB e-mail mailto:dandl.Mitchell@clear.net.nz ph/fx 04 562 7944

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