Monday, October 12, 2009

Liable parents foot 7 percent of DPB bill

Media Release
Monday, October 12, 2009

In 2008 the Inland Revenue Department transferred $136 million from collected child support payments to the consolidated fund. This money offsets what is paid to custodial parents on benefits.

Welfare commentator Lindsay Mitchell says this is a small percentage of what custodial parents are costing the state. "In 2008, the basic DPB bill was $ 1.479 billion. However, when other top-ups like the accommodation allowance are added, the all-up bill exceeds $2 billion. The transfer from IRD represents 6.8 percent of the total."

"Forty five percent of liable parents (58,423) have annual incomes below $20,000 and pay only the minimum rate of $2.19 per day per child. During April this year 35,675 liable parents, usually fathers, paid child support from their own benefit income."

"DPB claimants are required by law to file a child support application or face a penalty for not doing so. At June 2009 no application had been filed for 19,400 children included in a sole parent benefit."

Mitchell said the traditional political response is to demand fathers face up to their financial responsibilities. "However, the child support problem is only a spin-off from the DPB system. If there was no DPB, which acts as an incentive to single parenthood, there would be nowhere near the current number of liable parents - 130,762. The state has effectively replaced many fathers who are nevertheless expected to pay the bills for children they often have no role in raising. "

"As a general rule fathers should take responsibility for their children but the state has to stop skewing the morality of this by putting up cash rewards to prospective single mothers."

"Before the DPB it was difficult for mothers to chase maintenance through the court system and fathers ran the risk of conviction and imprisonment for reneging on a court order. But that was forty years ago. Today, avoiding becoming pregnant and giving birth is much simpler. And in respect of relationship breakdowns, women, who now make up half of the workforce, are much better equipped to handle being a breadwinner and men are much better equipped for sharing parenting."

"Until the DPB is reformed to suit the times, the taxpayer will continue to foot the lion's share of its cost."


Berry said...

By the time you take the welfare transfer into account, you end up just under 5%, so Oswald was the deserving recipient of the Chocolate Fish indeed!

Anonymous said...

It aint only the ACC which is sending shivers down the finacial backbone.


Anonymous said...

"Until the DPB is reformed to suit the times, the taxpayer will continue to foot the lion's share of its cost."

Reformed? Abolished!

Oswald Bastable said...

SOmetimes I wish I were wrong...

Anonymous said...


Many women I know of on the DPB find themselves in financial hell unable to afford food for their children. I ask you again "Should women today accept male infidelity which stands at about 40%. Wives infidelity is about 16 % and I am guessing that most of those affairs are revenge affairs.

Where is the morality in all the cheating husbands who then have the nerve to lecture the x wives they have impoverished. Perhaps this is something to do with pornograhy and the promotion by business round table of male infidelity. i.e. In a Television program about the life of Rob Muldoon, Robert Jones was dumfounded as to why he didnt use that position to have affairs.
He made out that Rob was wierd for not indulging himself. Does Rob think women should be compensated for an obviously widely abused rule of marriage. I doubt it.
That group of wealthy elite men have no respect for fidelity and therefore marriage but certainly want their to be no financial protection for the women who have been wronged.

You seem to think the best way to keep marriages together is to impoverish women. And they are
impoverished by the state law which demands 24 hour childcare for childfren under 14 years old. That is a good standard but sometone has to pay for it and its the mothers.

The whole of nature Lindsay was created for the purpose of motherhood and female animals had access to that resource for the purpose of motherhood before capitalism took all those resources and divided them
amoungst maily men. The churches have made the only way the human female can breed as within the domain in marriage with the financial support by a male. Its not like that in nature Lindsay. We dont curse the imorality of females of any other animal for needing resources to raise their offspring.
It is immoral that motherhood is not paid. Its immoral that women are working 90 hours per week and have to beg. Its a financial racket between the Church who claim its to do with morals when its really about money. And of course they ( the churches ) have been willing to slander womens need for food and shelter to preform their natural role as mothers. The churches are like everyone else and like you who suck up to the powerful and cast down then oppressed for their own benefit.
I believe in God Lindsay but he/ she is not standing over females of any specie telling them they are immoral for reproducing or needing food and shelter for
their natural role as mothers. Neither is god telling them they must get those resources from a male partner. the immorality of women having children out of wedlock is bourne out of greed and unwillingness to give to mothers the smallest part of the worlds recources.
We have been indoctrinated that mothers are immoral where the truth is those who have stolen the resources from the mother are actually immoral.

Anonymous said...

The reason for the low percentage of paying non-custodial parents is very simple- women collect DPB and voluntary child support payments from their husbands. The math is basic -pay $28 per week penalty for non-applying for a child support to IRD while collecting the DPB, and receive a full child support from the ex. There must be a loop-hole in the legislation( or policing) that allows this double dipping, with $28 per week being the only penalty. Ex-husbands also happy to participate in this arrangement, as they often pay less child support than they would be paying to IRD. The rest of the taxpayers foot the bill.My understanding is that this is extremely widespread situation and usually involves high income earners. In the end, the DPB recipients end up better off than most of the workers on the average wage, thus loosing any insentive to get off the DPB.Personally I can not believe that it has been going on for years and nothing has been done to prevent this revenue leakage.The figures in your article just show how widesperad is this scenario( even taking into account the genuine cases where the father's identity could not be revealed).