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FamilyFirst Family breakdown is costing NZ taxpayers $1 billion/year

Filed under: General — MurrayBacon @ 5:58 pm Mon 20th October 2008

Enforcing accountability and responsibility is essential for protecting children’s interests.

Stuff article

Family breakdown and decreasing marriage rates is costing New Zealand taxpayers at least $1 billion a year, according to new research.

Prepared by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER), the research was commissioned by Family First NZ.

“The study shows that the decline of marriage, New Zealand’s high teenage fertility rate, and our rate of solo parenthood is not just a moral or social concern but should also be a concern of government and policymakers,” said Family First NZ national director Bob McCoskrie.

“The report states that even a small reduction in family breakdown and increases in marriage rates could provide significant savings for taxpayers.”

Mr McCoskrie said the study showed that family breakdown and decreasing marriage rates were seldom considered in debate on social policy issues.

“The focus has been on ‘child poverty’ but this misses the real issue – that is, poverty among families with children, and the way that divorce, unwed childbearing, teenage pregnancy and sole parenting contributes to that poverty,” he said.

“For example, sole parents have the lowest average living standards of all economic family unit types.”

The report also referred to international research which suggested that the private costs of divorce and unmarried childbearing included increased risks of poverty, mental illness, infant mortality, physical illness, juvenile delinquency and adult criminality, sexual abuse and other forms of family violence, economic hardship, substance abuse, and educational failure.

“It is significant that this report comes during an election period where the issue of family breakdown and decreasing marriage rates is barely registering a mention or a policy,” Mr McCoskrie said.

“Yet this report makes it quite clear that strengthening marriage and reducing family breakdown is a significant public concern, both in human costs and economically.”

The report suggested the use of a range of programmes and services to reduce unwed pregnancy among teen mothers and to help prepare couples for and support them during marriage.

The Family First report focusses on the financial cost to taxpayers, of family breakdown.

In my personal opinion, the much larger issue is the damage done to the upbringing of children, of separated parents. (I am a separated parent, so this criticism applies to myself and my ex-wife.)

This is not to say that all children of separated parents suffer serious harm, but a lot do.

Much of this harm, is done by one or both parents putting their personal desires too far ahead of the protection of their children.

If the familycaught successfully provided relevant and useful services, in part putting responsibility onto the parent causing problems, then children would be far more effectively protected from this harm.

With the familycaught typically refusing to enforce its own orders, it makes itself a valueless contributor to NZ society. Valueless in every sense of the word. In the same way that these “judges” shirk responsibility for their actions, they fail to enforce accountability onto most separated parents.

It is only through enforcement of appropriate responsibility, that innocent parties would be protected, in particular children.

Unfortunately, the familycaught often puts the costs of irresponsible behaviour onto the other parent!!!!!!

I hope that the debate started by Family First widens out to what needs to be done, to force the familycaught to act constructively in these issues.

I suggest that requiring the litigation parties to select the judge of their own choice and then having to pay the bill for the judge’s time, would go a long way to helping customers of familycaught services to drive fast improvements in quality and timeliness of service. Judges would be free to compete on cost, timeliness and quality of service.

The less capable “judges” could be left to starve to death.

I ask you to discuss these issues with your local political candidates and make your desires clearly known.

Helen Clark’s belittling comment to John Key, “you might do that at home, but you can’t shout me down”, seems to show that she is developing a Women’s Refuge communication style as a habitual response to any pressure. Even after her apology the following morning, I cannot see that this shows her to be suitable material for a further 3 years as Prime Minister. She may be NZ’s most competent PM, but she seems to have passed her use-by date. It all reminds me of the death throws of $ir Robber Muldoon’s administration.

Both Labour and National have tried to belittle the smaller political parties and keep attention away from the family/child raising environment in NZ. I suggest that you carefully at how these parties contributed to Child Support Act, Domestic Violence Act and Social Welfare Acts. They both have much to answer for.

I commend Family First for raising Family issues, as an election issue.

The smaller parties may have achieved relatively little in Parliament. To be useful though, could you or I have done any better in the same situation?

When looked at in the cold hard light of day, I suggest that you consider giving substantial support to any small party that is giving constructive priority to protecting NZ families, from the forces of darkness that pray on them, for personal financial take – such as legal workers, car thieves, burglars and [spousal and] child support.

Through making a fair and reasonable judgement, you can protect your family’s interests.

Cheers, MurrayBacon.


  1. As well as the report on the cost to the Government of solo parenting, Family First also offer a calculator (based on a spreadsheet), that allows you to see how married couples are taxed higher than solo parents, in other words solo parents are given higher subsidies, than a married couple with both paying taxes.

    Family First value of the family page

    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Thu 23rd October 2008 @ 7:08 pm

  2. Helen Clark, like Family COrRUpT judges are maybe better suited as grocery store checkout operators to bring them back down to earth with every day common folk. I think John Key has potential as a rugby coach, “get in behind !!!”

    Comment by Colin of Nazareth — Fri 24th October 2008 @ 5:45 am

  3. John might be Ok with the forward push but his back line includes Judith Collins who is very father unfriendly. National will change nothing in Family Law and will run a ruthless Child Support programme and “ruthless action” on the soft targets (men) in court violence statistics.
    Get in behind, not bloody likely.

    Comment by allan Harvey — Fri 24th October 2008 @ 4:44 pm

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