The Herald reports:
The law requires women to name the father to apply for child support or face sanctions of up to $28 a week per child off their benefit.
Logie said about 15,000 women had their benefits docked for refusing to do so.
“Is it appropriate to deprive women of essential income when the reasons people don’t name a father are personal, private and, frankly, none of the state’s business?”
Beneficiary groups have called for the clause to be dropped altogether.
If you don’t want money from the state, then no need to tell the state who the father is.
But if you do want money from the state, well taxpayers have an expectation that the father will contribute to the child’s needs, rather than be 100% funded by taxpayers. It is called parental responsibility. Why should fathers leave others to pay the bills?
Without any sanction for not naming the father, then tens of thousands of fathers escape responsibility.
Also it is quite common that the father will pay the mother not to name him, so that again taxpayers are left paying much more than they should, as the father ends up paying less than he would under the law.
Now of course there should be exemptions for cases such as rape, and it is horrible that WINZ stuffed up this case so badly. But that is no reason to change the policy so that tens of thousands of fathers can escape any responsibility for their children.