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Confused Collins scores own goal

7 April 2005

Confused Collins scores own goal

Judith Collins scored another own goal yesterday with her confusion over child support, Associate Revenue Minister David Cunliffe says.

"Ms Collins' histrionics only serve to bring to the public's attention the solid progress we are making identifying those who owe child support across the Tasman."

Ms Collins alleged yesterday that the Minister tried to "hide" the real number of liable parents living in Australia.

"Nothing could be further from the truth. As her own press release proves. I gave the bigger number first, so I can hardly be accused of hiding anything. I believe her repeated assertions the government is "hiding" facts are mischievous, misleading and wrong." says Mr Cunliffe.

The Parliamentary Questions attached to Ms Collins' statement clearly state that in 2003 12,243 parents were "believed" to be in Australia. In 2004 the Minster noted that 5,197 parents were "confirmed" as living in Australia.

"Obviously, there is a difference between confirmed and unconfirmed residency. I suggest Ms Collins reads answers to questions more carefully." The government is making a massive effort to locate liable parents in Australia and get help for their children. We are spending an extra $17 million over four years to improve child support administration.

"To be clear, a total of 10,500 liable parents have now been confirmed and located in Australia and child support recoveries are increasing. Over 87 per cent of total child support is collected."

"Judith Collins need to engage her brain before putting her mouth in gear." says David Cunliffe.

ENDS

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