Aid for dead­beats

The Northland Age - - Local News -

Re­mov­ing sanc­tions on ben­e­fi­cia­ries for not nam­ing the fa­ther of their chil­dren has been blasted by the Tax­pay­ers’ Union as wel­fare for “deadbeat dads”, who ac­cord­ing to ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Jor­dan Wil­liams would be able to jet­ti­son their child sup­port re­spon­si­bil­i­ties with a tax­payer sub­sidy. “There is now no in­cen­tive for ben­e­fi­cia­ries to name the fa­ther of their chil­dren. In­evitably, far fewer peo­ple will name the fa­ther, deals will be ne­go­ti­ated un­der the ta­ble for less than the fa­ther would have to pay in child sup­port, and the tax­payer will pick up the tab,” he said. “While the aim of this re­form, to pro­tect women ex­pe­ri­enc­ing do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, is no­ble, the cur­rent law al­ready has an ex­emp­tion cov­er­ing this.” The Taipa¯ Food­mar­ket hadn’t had a big win­ner in the six or seven years that it had been the com­mu­nity’s only Lotto out­let, but that all changed on Wednesday night.

Some­one who bought a Big Wednesday ticket there col­lected $5.5 mil­lion, made up of a half share of the Di­vi­sion I prize and power­ball.

Srushti and Ni­rav Pa­tel, who run the busi­ness, didn’t know who had bought the ticket, but Mr Pa­tel was “110 per cent sure” they would be lo­cal.

The school hol­i­days were over, he said, and life at Doubt­less Bay had returned to nor­mal, sug­gest­ing that it was un­likely that the windfall would be claimed by some­one from fur­ther afield.

He and Srushti were al­most as ex­cited as the win­ner was ex­pected to be.

“We re­ally ex­cited, re­ally happy,” Mrs Pa­tel said. “Peo­ple are com­ing into the shop and phon­ing us to talk about it.”

She and her hus­band had had a cel­e­bra­tion of their own when they heard the news, she added, Mr Pa­tel say­ing the win would be good for the busi­ness and the com­mu­nity.

Nimesh Shah, who owns the busi­ness, was equally de­lighted. “The place is buzzing. Every­one is talk­ing about it,” he said. He bought the busi­ness in 2010, but only gained the Lotto agency in 2012 or 2013, and this was the first big win, he added.

A ticket bought in Taupo¯ won the other half of the Di­vi­sion I pool, worth $500,000.

Jor­dan Wil­liams

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