Higher child support doesn’t lead to welfare dependency for single mums

Hayley Fisher, University of Sydney Child support reduces poverty among single mothers in Australia and does not discourage employment or reduce the number of hours worked. My analysis of data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey studies how the amount of child support a single mother receives, affects how much she works. Previous research has found that single mums with bigger child support payments worked less than those with lower payments. This is partly due to the formula that determines how much child support should be paid. The formula means that when the non-resident father’s income is higher, child support increases. But if a single mother stops working and the father’s income stays the same, her child support payments increase. The formula directly causes child support to increase if hours of work decrease. My analysis adjusts for this and finds that receiving a higher child support payment leads to an increase in the employment rate o…
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One in four children grow up in a single-parent family – so why is there still a stigma?

Just the two of us. shutterstock /LightField Nicola Carroll, University of Huddersfield Given that one in four children now grow up in one-parent homes and that 42% of marriages end in divorce you might expect prejudice against single parents to be a thing of the past. Yet a 2014 poll found that 75% of single parents had experienced stigma. Indeed, Boris Johnson has recently been confronted about a column he wrote for The Spectator in 1995 which described the children of single mothers as “ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate”. When pressed on the comments by callers on LBC radio, Johnson said this was written before he was in politics. It’s maybe not surprising, then, that mothers who took part in my research interviews described feeling isolated, stigmatised and frustrated with negative stereotypes. In fact, most participants in the study said they wouldn’t tell someone they met for the first time they were a single parent, viewing it as a “label” which they…
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