Scott: Deadbeat dads could face travel restrictions
Deadbeat dads who refuse to pay child support could face travel restrictions, according to Minister of Community, Culture and Sports Wayne Scott.
Mr Scott said that Government is still discussing “creative solutions” for those who fail to pay child maintenance, but some suggestions include limits at TCD and limits on travel rather than prison sentences.
“Let's take that case where the father has the ability to pay and for whatever reason they're not,” Mr Scott said. “Instead of sending them to jail, I would like to put a restriction on their passport. Put on a restriction at TCD so if you can't afford to pay child support, you can't afford to drive that nice shiny car. Certainly you can't afford to take a trip if you can't pay for your child.
“These are things that we are discussing and the direction that I would like for this to go.”
There are cases where fathers do pay child support but are still denied access to their children by the mothers, he noted: “It goes both ways.”
Mr Scott said the issue of providing adequate financial relief has been a challenge for the Ministry, which has experienced an unprecedented increase in demand for financial assistance and child day care relief.
“Between January and October 2013, this Government has spent well over $36 million on assistance,” he said. “This is approximately $1 million less than the previous Government budgeted for their last budget, and we still have a way to go with this budget year.
“This type of spending cannot be sustained in the long term. We will implement policies that will streamline our way of doing business and at the same time get the required services to those who are in need in our community.”
The minister noted several initiatives discussed in last week's Throne Speech, including the Human Services Information System, designed to improve the effectiveness of cross-ministry teams, and the expansion of the Community Driven Development programme to help those on financial assistance become self-sufficient.
He added: “We are looking forward to working together with our community partners and moving forward to the benefit of us all. This process of social recovery is critical in order to drive better social outcomes for our people.”