The Herald reports:
Some women are being penalised over $100 a week for not naming the father of their children.
Auckland woman Stephanie, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, can’t prove the father of five of her 10 children.
This is the example the left put up as to why there should be no sanctions for not naming the fathers?
She said the father of four of her children has denied he is their parent. The 33-year-old is currently pursuing court action to get a paternity test.
As far as I know she does not need to prove he is the father to avoid a benefit sanction. She just needs to name him. There is a process for disputed paternity.
The father of her youngest child claimed he hasn’t had the birth registration papers delivered to his house for him to sign.
I’d say he’s lying.
Parents who don’t legally identify the other parent have $22 deducted every week for each child. A further $6 per family is added if it continues for over 13 weeks.
If you are not on welfare, then there is no sanction of course. But if you are on welfare, then taxpayers expect that the father of a child will partially contribute to the child’s upbringing, rather than be reliant purely on taxpayers. That is why the sanction exists – to make fathers face up to their responsibilities.
Stephanie said it was like the Government was punishing her and her children, when the blame sat with the fathers.
All she has to do is name them.
“Caring for them isn’t hard, but financially it is. We can’t afford heaps of things.
The most prosperous family would struggle to care for 10 children, let alone someone on welfare. The answer is not to have 10 children unless you can afford to.
Turei had felt the sting of the sanction herself when she didn’t name the father of her daughter. She said she did it to protect him from Winz harassment with the goal to keep their relationship positive for their daughter.
By WINZ harrassment, Turei presumably means pay child support as required by law.
Other reasons could include the child resulting from a rape or the woman was worried about the father exerting legal rights over the child, particularly if the relationship had been violent, Turei said.
In cases of rape and violence, no sanction is applied.
“The reasons why women do not name the father are complex and personal.”
But for many it is to cheat the taxpayer. The father pays the mother say $40 a week so long as she doesn’t name him, as his child support obligations would probably be over $100 a week. So he is better off, she is better off, but the taxpayer is worse off.