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Budget Will Drive More Family Breakdown

Budget Will Drive More Family Breakdown

June 11, 2004

The Cullen Budget will provide even further incentive for mothers to walk away from the fathers of their children, according to Lindsay Mitchell, petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB.

"Examples tailored by the Ministry of Social development have revealed just how discriminatory the 'Working for Families' package is."

"The first example describes a single female with one pre-schooler. She currently works 30 hours a week at $11 an hour. Additional income comes from the DPB, accommodation supplement, family support and childcare subsidy. Her total income is $579 per week in the hand."

"The second example is a single male currently working 40 hours at $10 an hour. He receives an accommodation supplement which brings his weekly income to $340 in the hand. Both examples were based on area 3 rate of accommodation supplement."

"When the full 'Working For Families' package kicks in at 2007, with no change to their hours worked or hourly payrate, he will be getting $360 to her $703."

"Had these examples represented an actual separated couple the male would have been even further disadvantaged by having child support deducted by IRD. It is shocking that a mother working part-time could be on an income almost double that of her estranged partner who works full-time."

"It has long been my contention that social policy is not helping families. It is driving them apart. This Budget has just upped the incentive for disaffected mothers to walk away from the fathers of their children."


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