Nelson BC – Child poverty is a serious issue in British Columbia and MLA Michelle Mungall is becoming increasingly more frustrated that the Liberal Government is not taking it seriously.
On Thursday, Mungall caused a stir in the Legislature when she told Christy Clark to stop smirking. Mungall made the comment while she was asking the Premier to stop clawing back child support payments from children simply because their single parent receives income supports. This was the same issue that Mungall had grilled the Premier on the day before when single mothers were at the Legislature asking government to end the clawback of their children’s child support payments. Responding to Mungall’s questions on Wednesday, the Premier was dismissive and failed to address the clawback in her response. The smirk was the only acknowledgment Mungall got from the Premier to her question on Thursday as she deferred the answer to the Minister of Social Development who also made no commitments to stop the clawback.
Each month, the government enforces child support payments by non-custodial parents only to claw it back dollar for dollar once received by the custodial parents, most often single mothers, because they are on income assistance. Last year $17 million in child support payments was clawed back from single parents on income supports in British Columbia. The province has had the highest rate of child poverty in the country for the last 10 years. Mungall has been calling on the government to end the clawback and to give BC’s poorest kids their money back.
“I am joining single mothers in standing up for some of the BC’s poorest kids and the Premier thinks it is some kind of joke” said Mungall. “Clawing back $17 million from children who desperately need it is wrong. Instead of just smirking about it the Premier needs to do the right thing and take action to reduce child poverty.”