The Government Must Put a Stop to the Misappropriation of Child Support

November 20th, 2018
Bloc text

The "family-minded" government will have the chance to kill two birds with one stone with its new economic update. The Fédération des associations de familles monoparentales et recomposées du Québec (FAFMRQ) and the Collectif pour un Québec sans pauvreté demand that the government put an immediate stop to the misappropriation of child support funds. It would be one way to respect its only firm engagement in the fight against poverty and, by the same stroke, improve the lives of thousands of single-parent families living in poverty.

"Even though it has been evasive about its budgetary surplus, the Quebec government has shown its colours: the surplus will go to reducing the fiscal burden on taxpayers," said Serge Petitclerc, spokesperson for the Collectif. "We obviously find it regrettable that the government is denying itself both current and future income that could have served to improve access to public services or increase the incomes of people living in poverty. For example, it would have been a perfect occasion to give some breathing room to people living on social assistance without employment limitations, whom the previous government completely ignored."

"We remember how the CAQ did everything in its power to avoid talking about the fight against poverty during the electoral campaign," he continued. "But we also remember their only firm commitment on the matter: 'A CAQ government will exclude child support payments from the calculations for social assistance benefits, student financial aid, housing assistance and legal aid eligibility.'" It's time to move from words to action. In the current climate, it would be unacceptable not to respect that engagement."

Put an End to an Enduring Injustice

As a reminder, child support payments have not been considered as taxable income since 1997. However, these funds continue to count towards four government programs: social assistance, student financial aid, housing assistance and legal aid. While partial exceptions have been granted over the years ($100 per month per child for social assistance and $1,200 per year per child for student aid), thousands of children are still denied a portion of the child support payments made in their name by one of their parents.

"A government that takes money from the poorest children to fund its social programs is an irresponsible government!" fumed Lorraine Desjardins, from the FAFMRQ. "Even more so considering that, with the exemptions that have already been granted, it would only cost $15.4 million to end this injustice once and for all! Ontario, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories have stopped deducting child support payments for children from social assistance. With budget surpluses currently just sitting in the government's coffers, François Legault has no excuse to not honour his engagement to end the misappropriation of child support payments," concluded the FAFMRQ spokesperson.

Source (in French)

Related page: entrevue avec Lorraine Desjardins de la FAFMRQ, TVA, 20.11.2018