Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Post-split parents on financial back foot

18 April 2018


Post-split parents on financial back foot

The financial fallout of relationship failure hits women with children hard, with a 19% fall in their income after a break-up, according to new research from AUT.

The financial consequences of close to 16,000 parents who separated during 2009 were analysed by AUT Business School academic Dr Michael Fletcher in what is the first study of its type in New Zealand.

Using anonymised data Dr Fletcher was able to follow the economic fortunes of pairs of ex-partners up to three years after separation.

His analysis found in almost half of the separations the man gained financially, after taking into account the change in their family size, while their ex-partner was worse off. In a quarter of cases both were worse off.

“What typified that first group,” Dr Fletcher says, “is that they had a reasonably good income on average before the separation but most of it came from the man’s earnings. After separating, although the women increased their average earnings, this was not enough to offset the loss of the ex-partner’s income. They were also more likely to have care of the children than were the men.

“The group where both partners were worse off looks quite different. The women still lose because they no longer have the man’s income coming into the household but the men were also worse off on average because their average earnings fell significantly.”

In 11% of cases the women came out ahead, with the final 16% of couples both better off after splitting.

“When I focused on the group where both were at least 10% better off after adjusting for family size, what came through was first, that this group had a low average income before they separated and, second, that both the men and the women increased their earnings substantially in the year following the separation year.”

Relationship failure can have the effect of pushing many former couples and their children into poverty.

The research found the collapse of a relationship led to large increases in poverty among the studied group. Compared to a matched comparison group of similar people who did not separate, poverty rose 16.4 percentage points for the women and 8.8 percentage points for men. This impact lasted for the three years after separation.

Separation also has a significant impact on the average amount of benefit payments people received. The average amount of benefit support paid to the men post-breakup rose 44%, while the average for women increased 300%.

The increase in poverty rates, which will be reflected in the poverty rates for many of the children, and the absence of any improvement, on average, over the medium-term is particularly concerning, and the large increase in average welfare payments to women with children are a disturbing combination, Dr Fletcher says.

“They suggest that for a significant number, separation results in a movement onto welfare, especially among women, and that those who do move onto benefit do not find it easy to move off.

“A positive view of this is that the welfare system is serving a core welfare purpose of providing a safety net. The negative side is that it appears not to be preventing poverty, nor to be a short-term effect.”

-ends-

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

KiwiBailed: KiwiBuild Head Officially Resigns

The head of Kiwibuild, Stephen Barclay has officially resigned from the role. In a statement issued on his behalf, it was announced that he would step down from today [Friday].

Housing Minister Phil Twyford's office said he would not be commenting on Mr Barclay's resignation as it was an employment matter. Last month, Mr Twyford confirmed that Mr Barclay had not been at work for a number of weeks. More>>

 

Welfare Stats: Rise In Hardship Numbers Shows Income Inadequacy

The latest Ministry of Social Development quarterly report show that a record number of people have received hardship assistance from work and income, with an additional 40,000 hardship payments made between September and December 2018, compared to the previous quarter of the same year... More>>

ALSO:

DHBs "Prepared": Junior Doctors Strike Again

The needs of acute patients will be met during tomorrow's junior doctor strike, a DHB spokesperson says... Almost 3000 junior doctors are expected to walk off the job, which will affect all DHBs apart from West Coast District Health Board. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On MBIE’s Social Media Scam

Given the ambit of MBIE’s work, almost any form of social activity could qualify as being part of MBIE’s brief, so the privacy threats posed by this training programme are extensive. The current oversight safeguards seem threadbare to non-existent. More>>

ALSO:

JusTrade: New Campaign For A 21th Century Trade Agenda

‘Critique is no longer enough. If anything is to really change, we need to step away from the existing framework and take a first-principles approach to rethinking what will work for the 21st century.’ More>>

Earlier:

Gordon Campbell: Thompson + Clark Are The Tip Of The Iceberg

How can we tell where and how any lines are being drawn? Oversight is not exactly robust. If it were, Thompson + Clark would have been out of contention for state security work ten years ago. More>>

Trainers: Taratahi Institute of Agriculture In Interim Liquidation

Taratahi employ 250 staff and this year has provided education to over 2500 students. Taratahi owns and manages 8 farms throughout the country. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Report: Complaints About Deputy Commissioner Wallace Haumaha

The Authority has found that DC Haumaha acted improperly by approaching staff and others to provide information to support him to refute the allegations about his 2016 conduct, or solicited other staff to do so on his behalf... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels