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Academics and Lawyers attack changes to Aussie Child Support System

Filed under: Child Support,General — Scrap_The_CSA @ 9:19 pm Sun 20th April 2008

Divorced from wealth – The Sydney Morning Herald – 19 April 2008.

The attack on the Australian Child Support changes continues:

“For the next generation of single women, it is about to get worse. Lawyers and social researchers believe changes to the child support scheme which come into force midyear will leave about 60 per cent of single mothers worse off than before. Fathers, in particular wealthy fathers, they say, will pocket the windfall.”

This is another example of a coordinated and orchestrated attack on the Australian changes to the Child Support Act.

“Dr Baldry also points to regime changes under the Howard government that are now starting to bite: welfare-to-work policies that penalised single mothers, and changes to child custody laws that introduced a presumption of shared care – even where there had been a history of violence.

She says it is not surprising that more middle-class women are relying on charities to supplement their weekly food bill.”

Peter Rabbit (Dunne) is living in a fairytale land. He has not delivered and that failure to deliver shows how much United Future cares about separated families!

Peter needs to ensure that stake holders are engaged as he promised. Relying on focus groups to create a child support position is inherently likely to produce a worse result for kiwi kids and parents .

Peter Rabbit has let loose officials to create a child support position and proposed methodology. I call it letting the loonies run the asylum

This approach to child tax collection , let the officials (Inland Revenue and Families Commission ) decide does not adress the fundemental flaws found in % of income model.

The child support Act 1991 is fundamentally flawed and no amount of tinkering is going to fix it.


1 Comment »

  1. If any group has enjoyed an advantage, whether fair or not, they may feel aggrieved if they then lose it. So what? Thus the existence of moaning doesn’t make a strong case for anything. It takes informed arguments.

    Our Australian cousins have through the last 15 years, carried out a reasonable amount of research into the costs of bringing up children, in a two adult household and in a single adult household. They have looked at the situation of the parent with the larger amount of care and the situation of the parent with the lesser amount of care.
    New Zealand, by comparison, has just copied other countries legislation, with “adjustments” to the numbers, based on ideological “needs”, putting a wet finger in the air and precious little intelligent judgement.
    Unfortunately, it is not surprising that their child support and Family Court systems are moving forward, albeit rather slowly, where NZ seems to be drifting faster backward.
    It is not that NZ doesn’t have the funds to devote towards research, it is more that ideology drives our changes, not decisions based on valid and competent research.
    In any case, NZ would do better to simply assume that the Australian research would be reasonably relevant to NZ conditions, than to follow the ideology of the wayward leaders that we have chosen.
    I would guess that through the last 15 years, the Australian research on costs of raising children has probably cost about $750,000. We spend more than this, on TV advertisements overtly asking DV to stop, perhaps covertly Labour election advertising?
    We have probably broken more than $750,000 worth of beer bottles accidentally in the last 15 years and had to throw them out?
    Our Australian cousins generously give away this research on the internet. Yet we NZers are unable to pick it up and use it, even at no cost?
    What is our problem?
    Behaviour and expenditures nonresident parents during contact visits Murray Woods
    Costs of children and equivalence scales matthew gray
    Costs of Children Estimated in australian families in 2005-06 NATSEM Canberra
    Costs of Children Updated Using Australian budget standards Paul Henman 2004
    PRP03 Estimates of the costs of children in Australian families 1993 94
    PRP07 updating australian budget standards costs of children estimates Paul Henman

    For all of the econometric study of costs of children, there is a huge gap, in researching what the impact of what the “child support” Act is telling our children?
    Issues such as earners being driven out of NZ, when IRD make assessments of continuous earnings, when the period has included periods of unemployment. The resulting penalties can quickly become totally unpayable. What does the father absence communicate to these children?
    Where the “child support” payment allows a non-working mother to appear to the children, to be more financially successful. Under the hood, it might be that the father has savings and the beneficiary lives hand to mouth, with a good looking lifestyle. What does this communicate to these children?

    The Australian moves toward child support being based on realistic costs for caring for children and taking into consideration the costs in both parents households, is clearly the fair approach.

    In any case, both parents should be able to take part in decisions about the care of the children. This was guaranteed by the old Guardianship Act and the present Care of Children Act – it is just that the “judges” don’t honour the law.
    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Tue 22nd April 2008 @ 11:22 pm

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