The Social Democrats said they will introduce a bill to Parliament on Monday which would lead to the creation of a child support fund to help single parents who end up footing the bill for deadbeat former partners.
“Estonia has thousands of one-parent families where the other parents do not fulfill their support obligations. Hundreds and hundreds of parents, mainly fathers, ignore court rulings which obligate them to financially support their children,” said MP Heljo Pikhof.
She said that child support payments are not private matters between two parents, and child welfare must be the priority.
The Ministry of Justice last week opened discussions on how to deal with deadbeat parents, proposing ideas such as taking away driver's licenses.
IRL has proposed setting up a child support fund and making the state itself responsible for collecting all the payments, not just from those who have previously refused to pay, as the Social Democrats are proposing.
But IRL's coalition partner, the Reform Party, has rejected that idea, saying taxpayers should not be involved in what is essentially a private debt matter. It cited Latvia's failed experiment with the idea, which collected only half of the debt.