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Debt owed by liable parents tops $1.1 billion

Judith Collins
National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

10 September 2006

Debt owed by liable parents tops $1.1 billion


The amount of debt owed by liable parents has topped the $1.1 billion mark, according to figures supplied to National’s Welfare spokeswoman, Judith Collins.

The figures show that at June 30, 140,365 liable parents owed $452,012,960 in child support arrears and $651,519,334 in penalty payments. This compared with 131,241 liable parents owing $192,452,098 in arrears and $188,292,302 in penalties in 2000, after Labour’s first year in office.

“These figures are absolutely astounding and prove yet again that Labour is making no headway whatsoever in recovering money owed by liable parents,” says Ms Collins.

“The amount in arrears has more than doubled and the total amount owed, including penalty, has almost tripled, from $380,744,400 to $1,103,532,294, since Labour came to power, despite promise after promise after promise that they would try harder to collect the outstanding debts.

“The only answer they have is to let these people write off their penalties.

“Well, that is not good enough.

“They are letting these people accumulate huge debt while leaving the taxpayer to pick up the tab.

“They are rewarding bad behaviour, pure and simple.

“Nearly half a billion dollars in arrears is huge money which could help make a real difference to thousands of children and their families.

"Labour is doing single parents and their children a grave disservice by failing to enforce the law," says Ms Collins.

"This money must be collected and returned to the pockets of hard-working New Zealand taxpayers, but all Labour can do is refuse to admit there is a major problem.”

Ends

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