This current post provides the chance of debating "Taxpayer versus Parent
Interest" - see below.
(Replies to questions to the Secretary of State for Social Security, from
Mar 1998). The Secretary of State for Social Security and Minister for
Women (Ms Harriet Harman):
I invite the House to consider three further points. We face some difficult
choices in the necessary reform of child support.
Thirdly, what is the right balance between the need of parents with care to
receive income for their children and the interests of taxpayers not to
have to support other people's children?
MY STARTER FOR TEN:
The 2 extremes are:
- children are an investment in society's future, so society should pay all
- children are the choice of their parents, so the parents should pay all
I'll go with the latter view. If I didn't ask you to bring children into
the world, I believe YOU (both parents) have decided to do so, and should
pay for them.
"Pay/cost" includes the following:
- consumables (clothes, food, etc)
- investment-in-life (education, etc)
- shelter (the marginal extra cost of a bigger house)
- care (ensuring that there is SOMEONE to care for the child)
Paying benefits to either party should be a last resort, and should
normally only be done as a result of a New Deal (welfare-to-work) prgramme.