Labour lets fathers off the hook

Fri, 03 May, 2019

The Government’s welfare changes ensure taxpayers will assume even greater responsibility for supporting people on benefits, while beneficiaries themselves will face fewer consequences, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Labour and the Greens are making it easier for people to remain on welfare which will ensure more people do remain on welfare.

“Removing sanctions on women who don’t name the father of their child is a complete reversal of position for Labour. In 2004, Social Development Minister Steve Maharey said:

‘It is a rort, and I have said time and time again in this Parliament that fathers must front up to their obligations, and we will make sure they do. It is not unreasonable to expect that single parents bringing up children on their own identify who in law is the other parent, or to expect that they seek financial support for the child from the other parent. It is not unreasonable to penalise financially those who do not.’

“This change will mean taxpayers will assume greater responsibility for supporting children, rather than their fathers.

“Lifting the abatement threshold at which beneficiaries' payments are reduced will mean it is less likely people move off welfare and into full-time work, further entrenching dependency.

“It is unacceptable that 300,000 - or 1 in 9 - working-age adults are on a main benefit of some kind.

“ACT would introduce cashless welfare. Beneficiaries would be given a card that can be used for select purposes only. Otherwise we are going to continue to foster a culture where the taxpayer has unlimited responsibility and beneficiaries face no consequences.

“ACT believes government should play a limited role in alleviating genuine hardship, while promoting economic growth and supporting those who can work into employment in order that they can live independent and meaningful lives.”