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Single moms to feel child support cuts

Date Posted: 2006-09-10

Children being raised by single parents are now drawing support subsidies from the Japanese governments.

That’s about to change, as budget tightening is forcing the process to be radically redefined beginning in 2008. Every child under 18 being raised by a single mom or dad draws ¥41,700 ($372) each month in support subsidies. That money will be drastically reduced after next year, and officials say half the single parents now drawing the subsidies will lose the benefit.

There are 20,416 single mother and father families on Okinawa, and they’re fearful they won’t be able to survive with half their subsidies being dropped. The Single Mothers Association has already filed a letter with the Prefecture, pleading that it “not reduce the money coming to us.”

“I have only ¥80,000 income,” says one single mother, “and without child support money, I can’t make my life well. I need money.” Another mother says “Children need more money now, as expenses are going higher. How can we raise the children?”

Single mothers in the program typically are not receiving support from the child’s father, and works only part-time at low paying jobs. They need the support from the Prefecture or federal government, a spokesman says, and promises the group will continue its lobbying campaign to keep the subsidies.

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