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  • Rich dads leave their kids in the lurch
  • By Ben Packham
  • Herald Sun
  • 24/08/2009 Make a Comment (1)
  • Contributed by: PrincePlanet ( 3 articles in 2009 )
VICTORIA'S wealthiest suburbs are home to mean-spirited dads paying as little as $6.80 a week in child support.

There are at least 14 in Toorak, the richest suburb in Victoria with an average annual income of more than $90,000.

The token payment is the minimum required by the Child Support Agency and applies to anyone earning up to $18,800 a year.

But rich dads with clever accountants are manipulating their income to shirk their parental responsibilities.

In our top 10 richest suburbs there are at least 136 non-custodial parents - mostly men - paying the paltry sum.

They include 33 South Yarra residents, 21 from Brighton, 22 in Kew and 14 in Armadale.

Single mums' advocate Dr Elspeth McInnes said running a business at a loss while drawing cash, was the most common method used by those who wanted to pay less.

Trusts and negative gearing of property are also used.

"The easiest avoidance is at the top end of town, usually through business structures," Dr McInnes said.

"They can set up their income streams so they look poor on paper. And nobody really has the resources to go and hunt them down."

Others pay a bit more, but not nearly enough.

Petra, 45, said the father of her 12-year-old son paid $222 a month after declaring a $39,000 income last year.

Yet he was a senior executive working in Hong Kong for a major Australian-based investment bank.

"It doesn't go far," she said. "I'm having to consider what to cut out next. My son's in his footy final next week. But this is probably his last season.

"These are the sorts of things we're going to have to cut."

Human Services Minister Chris Bowen said most separated parents did the right thing. "Last financial year, over $2.8 billion in child support was transferred between parents. That is a very good outcome for Australian children," he said.

"However, child support debt is still too high and there should be little sympathy for those parents who refuse to do the right thing by their children."

Across Victoria, more than 26,500 separated parents have been put on the minimum CSA rate. Most are on Centrelink benefits.

Shared Parenting Council spokesman Wayne Butler said those who rorted the system were in the minority.

"There are some who manipulate income through self-employment, but there are not many. If you're a PAYE taxpayer it's almost impossible to manipulate," he said.


    By:Daveyone from London, England! on September 22, 2009 @ 10:46 pm
    As there is no comment on this article, may I invite you to view the members forum and see the activism that is going on around the world?

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