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Emerging financial crisis for governments around the western world..

This article examines the emerging financial crisis for governments around the western world arising from the growing fragility of family life and the increase in births to mothers without a partner living in the home.

This article examines the emerging financial crisis for governments around the western world arising from the growing fragility of family life and the increase in births to mothers without a partner living in the home. The costs of family instability are not just borne by individuals. They are to a very significant extent borne by taxpayers, who provide income support for many parents and their children, pay substantial administrative costs in ensuring income transfers through the child support system, and bear more of the costs of caring for the elderly than would be necessary if a greater number of marital and quasi-marital relationships remained intact.

The growing costs to the public purse arising from ex-nuptial births and the breakdown of parental relationships are simply unsustainable when taken together with the existing governmental debt burden, growing environmental problems, ageing populations, and the problem of decreased fertility in developed countries. Action therefore needs to be taken by governments to support programs and services that have the goal of promoting safe, stable, and nurturing relationships between children and adults and to eliminate perverse incentives to choose family forms that may not be optimal as a context for raising children.
The increasing fragility of family life has had a very serious impact on public finances, and this will only get worse if trends continue. To understand why this is so, it is necessary to explore why private income transfers between former husbands and wives by way of alimony, and between mothers and fathers through child support, have done so little to protect the public purse from the costs of family breakdown.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

Attachment
Professor Parkinson - Fragility of family life

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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They could start by making it easier for single mothers to declare new relationships by not taking partner's income into consideration for the Family Benefits of her children. The current system takes control of the family benefits for the children off the mother and forces her to negotiate with her new partner for these benefits/funds. More single mothers in declared relationships means more $$$ saved in parenting payment single.
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