The BC Provincial Government released its budget today and, after years of taking millions of dollars in child support payments from those children who need it most, have finally put a stop to the practice.
In a release today, the government stated that, “Effective September 1, 2015, child support payments will be fully exempted from income assistance calculations. This translates into an additional $32 million over three years for some of the neediest children and families in the province. This change will benefit approximately 5,400 children in 3,200 families who currently receive income and disability assistance.”
The change means that families with parents receiving disability payments or social assistance who also receive child support payments from other parents will no have money clawed back, dollar for dollar, from their assistance. This policy never made any sense as child support monies have always represented the non-residential parent’s contribution towards the care of the children.
While the move by the BC government is welcomed and should improve the lives of thousands of children throughout the province, it is unfortunately a gesture made too late. The government has seen to it that the provinces least fortunate children have been subsidizing the province for years. If the government’s figures are accurate, the government has more than $10,000,000.00 a year from them for the last three years.
If the government now believes that the claw-back was an unjust one, it should pay the monies back that it took from the children over the past three years. I am not so naïve to think that this will actually occur. The government has made its decision and will gain the political capitol that apparently comes from answering the question, “When will you stop stealing from your children?”.