"Children First" & Second Family Children: Analysis of the issues and options
by Barry Pearson
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Conclusions from the Examples

The conclusions from the examples (see next major section) can be summarised:

1: For any particular NRP income:
  (a) the PWC may be much poorer than the 2nd family, and it would be unjust for deprived 1st family children to have a modification;
  (b) the PWC may be much richer, so there may be a case for a modification;
  (c) all parents may earn about the same amount, in which case there is no jusification for such a modification; the 2nd family needs more money, but retains more anyway.
  Since the formula works from just the NRP's income, cases 1(a), 1(b), & 1(c) cannot be distinguished, so a 2nd family modification to the formula would be unsafe.
2: If the NRP has no or low pay, there is little maintenance, so little effect from a modification.
3: There do appear to be cases where a 2nd family modification may be justified:
  (a) if the 2nd family built up commitments before the assessment which they can't decommit from in time;
  (b) if there are considerable arrears.
  These cannot be detected from the NRP's income alone, so can't be targeted by a 2nd family modification to the formula. 3(a) & 3(b) may have to be identified explicitly and dealt with by some sort of appeals mechanism.
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Page last updated: 13 December, 2003 © Copyright Barry Pearson 1998