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Get cracking tracking Kiwi dodgers in Aussie

Katherine Rich - National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

13 January 2005

Get cracking tracking Kiwi dodgers in Aussie

National Party Welfare spokeswoman Katherine Rich says the Government must "get cracking tracking the Kiwi dodgers of child support payments who have escaped to Australia".

According to figures released to Mrs Rich by the Government, the amount of unpaid child support debt owed by New Zealand's absent parents in Australia has increased by more than 53% in a year.

"This Labour Government claims to be cracking down on unpaid child support debt in Australia. These figures show they have yet to get cracking at all."

There are currently 5,197 liable parents living in Australia owing nearly $113 million dollars to Kiwi kids and the taxpayer. That is up from $73 million last year, a massive increase of about $40 million. The figure continues to spiral out of control while Kiwi children are disadvantaged.

"The Minister must also explain why the Government knows of 5,197 liable parents in Australia, yet only 3,633 cases worth around $92 million have been referred to Australian collection agencies," says Mrs Rich.

"The Government is letting 1564 child support dodgers living in Australia walk away from their responsibilities owing more than $20 million.

"Labour is all talk and no action when it comes to welfare. They owe it to the thousands of disadvantaged Kiwi kids to make a real effort to collect this money," says Mrs Rich.

Parliamentary Question: 16843 (2004) Katherine Rich to the Associate Minister of Revenue: How many New Zealand liable parents are living in Australia and how much child support is currently owed/outstanding by ex-pat New Zealanders living in Australia? Hon David Cunliffe (Associate Minister of Revenue) replied: As at 20 October 2004, Inland Revenue Child Support has confirmed that there are 5,197 liable parents living in Australia with a total debt value of $112,674,110, of which $49,577,387 is assessment debt and $63,096,723 is penalty debt. Of these, 3,633 cases with a total debt value of $91,876,501 have been referred to the Australian Child Support Agency under the reciprocal agreement for collection.

Parliamentary Question 9246 (2003). Hon David Cunliffe (Associate Minister of Revenue) replied: There is currently a total of $73,207,549 in outstanding child support and penalties owed by New Zealand liable parents known to be living in Australia.

ENDS

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