Poverty report highlights need to end child support clawback

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VICTORIA— First Call B.C.’s report showing that half of children with single parents live in poverty shows the harm being done by the B.C. Liberal government’s clawback policy, says New Democrat social development spokesperson Michelle Mungall.

“This report proves that children are living in poverty because the B.C. Liberal government is clawing back child support from single parent families living on income assistance and disability,” said Mungall. “It’s time for the B.C. Liberals to end the clawback and give kids their money back.”

One of the stories highlighted by the report was of Rebeca, a mother in Maple Ridge whose daughter Sophey has $400 in child support taken away by the government every month. Rebeca told First Call that that the $400 her daughter is supposed to be getting in child support “would go a long way at Costco” in Maple Ridge.

“Sophey is one of nearly 30,000 kids who are living with a single parent on income assistance,” said Mungall. “She is living in poverty because the B.C. Liberal government is taking the money her dad pays to support her, and using it to pay for their misguided priorities, like spending more than a million dollars hiring failed B.C. Liberal candidates and giving insiders cushy appointments after the last election.”

Mungall said the failure of the B.C. Liberals to take simple, affordable actions that would significantly reduce child poverty makes it clear why the province needs a legislated poverty reduction plan. British Columbia is now the only province without a legislated plan in place or in progress.

“One in five B.C. children are living in poverty,” said Mungall. “That’s disgraceful in a province with so much wealth. We can and we must do better, not just because it’s the right thing to do for these children, but because it’s the right thing to do for our province.”