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.
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:
- Hon Todd McClay has stated that we are trying to align with Australia, whilst in Australia there is a Parliamentary Inquiry into the Child Support Program
- There was a massive budget blowout
- The Govt were advised to pull the pin on the whole thing yet didn’t
- Now this, a missing list of items used in the study that the new formula appears to be based on
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.