By Richard Cruickshank - Sydney Morning Herald and The Age - Melbourne

Richard Cruickshank’s letter to the Sydney Morning Herald & Melbourne Age in response to the recently announced CSA changes.

Bettina Arndt (2/10/97 SMH/Age) talks of the costly Child Support Scheme and questions whether the cost of collection can be justified. Bettina is on the right track but research reveals that the cost to all Australians is far greater than that.

There are three costs associated with Child Support:

  1. Social CostThe laws covering the scheme are totally undemocratic, biased against non-custodial parents (92% men) and very divisive as they deliberately bind parents together in a continuing and potentially hostile relationship for life, arbitrated by Public Servants of all people. This is certainly not in the interest of any children, who were supposed to be the beneficiaries.
  2. Monetary CostThe child support formulae is nothing but harsh taxation levied upon non-custodial parents at unreasonably high levels and subject to increase at will by custodial parents through the Child Support Review Office, which is nothing more than a “Kangaroo court” without any conscience. The means that the incentive to work or carrying out business activities is seriously diminished. Independent research reveals that more than 18% of the 462,000 non-custodial parents are unemployed and 5% or 23,000 have ceased all business activities which in turn employs others. Taking into account public service propaganda of falsely claimed social security clawbacks, the taxpayer will still pay a well hidden $1,500 million for this so called family service in 1997/98.
  3. Political Cost History has shown any Governments that attempts to impose harsh, discriminatory taxes and or meddle in and control citizen’s daily lives in this way is in for a rude awakening. By the end of this Governments second term, they will have to answer to more than 800,000 very angry non-custodial parents, mostly dads, thousands of whom don’t even have access to their children. Add to this, taxpayers who will get the waste bill totalling $7,400 million for the 160,000 unemployed non-custodial parents who have no incentive to work or even live for that matter.

No country can afford the economic and social cost of biased socialist ideologies as applied by the previous Labour Government who already received severe punishment from voters at the last election.

What’s wrong with each parent being responsible for their share of ‘the basic cost’ of maintaining their children.

Richard A. Cruickshank Richard is a director of Property Investment Research Pty. Ltd. Melbourne.

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