Stop child support clawbacks, say New Democrats

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VICTORIA — It’s time for the B.C. Liberal government to stop taking money out of the hands of B.C.’s poorest kids say the New Democrats.

“Child support payments belong to children, not to the government,” said New Democrat social development critic Michelle Mungall. “The B.C. Liberals’ child support clawback hurts B.C.’s poorest kids.”

New Democrats joined with affected families at the legislature this week to demand that Premier Clark stop taking child support from children of single parents receiving income supports like disability. The B.C. Liberals removed the income assistance earnings exemption for child support in 2001.

“Half of children being raised by a single mother live in poverty in British Columbia. The province has had the highest rate of child poverty in the country for more than a decade,” said Mungall.

Mungall added that B.C. Liberal MLAs are out of touch with poverty in their own communities. Maple-Ridge Mission MLA Marc Dalton suggested just this week that no B.C. children go hungry, and that youth homelessness doesn’t exist.

“Thirty per cent of all food bank users in B.C. are children. That’s evidence of real food insecurity facing B.C. families,” said Mungall. “We can do better, and we need to, not just for these families, but for the future of the province.”