Revised proposal for sharing of care
This document neither agrees nor disagrees with the basic formula in
the Green Paper. The following revision would work if a different basic
formula applied. It is based on the following principle: "children
have to be looked after and paid for, so at any time, a parent either
cares for the children or pays whoever does so".
Proposal: "Whatever formula applies for the period when the
PWC is caring for the children should also apply mutatis mutandis
for the periods when the NRP is caring for the children".
In other words: "Whatever basic formula is thought to be
right should be applied consistently, and not just one way".
||For each night the PWC cares for one child, the NRP pays one seventh
of 15% of the NRP's weekly income.
||For each night the NRP cares for that child, the PWC pays one seventh
of 15% of the PWC's weekly income.
The consequences depend on the amount of sharing and the relative incomes
of the PWC and NRP:
||If there is no sharing of care, this proposal has no effect. The
Green Paper formula (or any other) operates unaltered.
||If the PWC and the NRP earn about the same amount, then the effect
is to reduce the maintenance liability by about two sevenths
per night. The distinction between being PWC and NRP where there are
more-or-less equal amounts of caring becomes relatively insignificant
and not worth behaving badly over.
||If the PWC earns a lot less than the NRP, the liability falls by
about one seventh per night, rather like the current proposal in the
Green Paper, which is probably financially reasonable from the children's
point of view.
||If the NRP earns a lot less than the PWC, then in fact the net effect
is likely to be that the PWC will pay the NRP, which is probably necessary
if the NRP gets no benefit assistance for caring for the children
for (say) a couple of nights per week.
This scheme is totally symmetrical, hence "fair" (or at least
defensible). It tends to be neutral, or possibly favour children while
they are with the the poorer-off person, and certainly not favour the
better-off person. It appears to favour sharing of care for the children
while safeguarding the taxpayer's interests.