Items Used In The Basket Of Goods Referred To In The Costs Of Raising Children Study

Basket of Goods

As many of you may have read the 2010 Costs of Raising Children Study ( used as a guideline by IRD in the recently introduced child support formula ) has two approaches.

The first approach uses Statistics New Zealand’s Household Economic Survey (HES) data to estimate what parents actually spend on raising their children at different levels of household income.

The other approach is the basket of goods approach, the key part being..

..Using retail prices from the Consumers Price Index (CPD, a basket of goods and services considered appropriate for a given living standard is priced.

We wanted to find out what exactly was in the basket of goods, that was included as part of this study. This is important, because from what we have been lead to believe, this is related to the amount of child support parents pay.

Under the Official Information Act (1992) one of our community requested this information, initially from IRD.

IRD then directed the question to Statistics NZ.

A letter of reply has been received from Statistics NZ which states that the study selected approximately 500 goods from the larger list of goods that the Consumer Price Index is calculated from.

You can read that larger list (the CPI) here.

The letter goes on to say…

Statistics NZ does not hold the exact list of goods that was used by the study’s authors to estimate the costs of raising children.

It then talks about the goods used in an Australian study, which we can only hope is nothing to do with our cost estimates.

Here is the letter, so you can see for yourself.

the list

Statistics NZ doesn’t have the list, and the IRD also couldn’t provide the list.

IRD have been less than helpful in supplying information. It should be at their finger tips and readily available to the public of New Zealand.

A number of mistakes are starting to accumulate:

What do you think about this? Is this not a straightforward request?

As a group we are now planning to prepare a document that will be sent to the Office of the Ombudsman as we do not feel that we are getting reasonable answers to our questions.

You have the right, by way of complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman under section 28(3) of the Act, to seek an investigation and review of this response to your request.

If you also have questions you feel are left unanswered, please share in the comments and we can look at including them as well.

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3 Comments

  1. Ird in formed me that as a paying parent I am responsible to pay 100% of the calculated child support income as if my ex and I were still in a relationship I would be providing for her and my daughter.
    They placed me on hold for 45mins then cut me off when they couldn’t answer my question of ” why am I providing for my ex still now that we are not in a relationship”
    Id like an answer or if you can steer me in the direction to find the answer.

    1. Yes Justin, i would very much like to see a reply to that too. when there has been a relationship breakdown and all assetts divided etc, why is the paying partner paying for the ex wife. paying a share of raising a child fair enough equally between he two parents, but one should not have to pay maintenance for an ex wife. up to her to get a job and provide for herself

    2. I have had a good look at the March 2010 paper Costs of Raising Children. While I can not disagree with Engels law, I read in page 16 that the cost was measured for a 13-18 year old at 20%. This was based on a combined average income.
      So in theory my payments should 10% of my income and 10% of the other parents based on our net income and not gross as currently formulated.
      Interesting to find out where the cost of living equation came from. (Don’t expect an answer on that one)
      The Government got it all wrong palming it of to IRD to administer who don’t have the correct facts and training to answer the right questions. You can see why so many parents can fail to connect with their children. They are too busying trying to pay off the CS debt while propping the governments expenditure shortfall.

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