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Border agencies should be stopping liable parents

Judith Collins
National Party Welfare Spokeswoman
18 September 2006

Border agencies should be stopping liable parents

People who owe child support money should not be able to go overseas till they pay up, says National's Welfare spokeswoman, Judith Collins.

She is commenting on the announcement of a scheme where people who have an arrest warrant in their name for owing $5,000 or more in unpaid fines will be stopped from leaving New Zealand.

"There is a huge problem of liable parents going overseas, mainly to Australia, to avoid paying child support, and stopping them at the border would be one way of halting that and forcing them to pay.

"Liable parents living in Australia now owe a staggering $282 million compared with $73 million in 2003.

"That is a quadrupling of the amount owed despite a wealth of promises from Labour that it would try harder to collect the outstanding debt.

"In total, liable parents owe more than $1.1 billion, and this would be one way of getting some of that money paid.

"We must do more, and one way would be to stop these people from leaving until they pay up.

"If they can do it for unpaid fines, they must be able to do it for unpaid child support."


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