"19. The Bill proposes to raise the ceiling child support income to approximately $85,000. (the ceiling is now $95,000 - Ed) Consider a family man earning an income approaching this level. He risks losing home and family at the whim of his partner. Under the recently passed Property Relationships Act he would get far less than half the matrimonial property due to his earning capacity.
20. Of his take-home pay, if he had a student loan, he could be paying over 45 per cent in child support, leaving him in the position of someone on an income of about $37,000, but with the heartache of being distanced from his children. Out of an extra dollar earned he might see less than 15 cents following deductions. Child support payments could continue for 19 years. He has no say in how the money is actually used, but is expected to believe that it is for his children. For one child, he could be paying $1100 per month from his after tax income. This is about $256 per week, or 16 per cent more than the amount given for both a child and a parent on the Domestic Purposes Benefit. The amount is not affected by the mother’s income, or by his time with the child, even up to 145 nights a year.
21. Meanwhile he can expect no support from the government in his attempts to maintain a relationship with his children. What message is this giving our sons about study, hard work, building a career, and long term planning? What does it lead our daughters to expect from men? What basis is this for our children to form relationships and create an environment in which to bring up their children?"
OK, I am gritting my teeth and ignoring the assumption that it's only men who get hard done by Child Support. What this guy had to say makes sense. It pretty much spells out how it is. Nearly 50%of my income is gone before I get it, and my gross is nowhere near what he's looking at.
Anyway, this got me riled enough to go looking on the parties' websites for any mention of a policy regarding Child Support and how it may be improved. Here's what I found.
National: "If the state does not adequately enforce child support payments by fathers unwilling to accept responsibility for their children’s support, then the burden will fall on taxpayers." Again with the 'enforcing' and the assumptions about it always being the father that has to pay. Sorry, no vote from me Don.
Labour: The Child Support Amendment Bill is a clear piece of electioneering in that it panders to the assumption that liable parents automatically dodge Child Support and must be 'brought into line' and has absolutely nothing in it for the responsible non-custodial parent who coughs up every week on time. Lots of benefits for the dodgers though. Sorry Helen, no vote for you either.
Act: Yup, more of the same. Apparently I'm a deadbeat Dad. *sigh* I couldn't resist adding my spoke to the craziness that is comments on this page. Sorry Rodders, bad policy no vote.
Greens: ... No wonder they didn't answer my letter. Apparently Child Support doesn't need policy. Brownie points for being the first site with a search facility though. Sorry Jeanette, but 'could try harder'.
NZ First: Nope. Even if they had a policy, I still wouldn't vote for them. And they don't. Not even sorry. Winston, you suck and I hate your hair.
United Future: Yay! At least these guys are acknowledging that the system is broken and that there is a negative impact on non-custodial parents who are honest. Boo! It doesn't translate into policy. So boo to you too Peter.
Jim Anderton, after all his big talk, did not come through with anything.
*sigh* Based solely on that issue, I'm gonna look more closely at United Future's other policies. Interestingly, Peter Dunne was the only one who gave real credence to my letter earlier this year.
Just out of interest I looked at Destiny NZ too. They waffled something vague about how fatherless children are disadvantaged and marriage is the cornerstone of society. Yeah. Ignore it, it'll go away, God will make it.
No Confidence is looking better and better.