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Govt must step up action over debtor dads

Judith Collins MP
National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

10 December 2007

Govt must step up action over debtor dads

The Labour Government needs to develop better ways to clamp down on wealthy fathers who are skipping child support payments, says National’s Welfare spokeswoman, Judith Collins.

Ms Collins says new figures reveal that there are more than 320 parents – the majority of them fathers - who earn more than $100,000 who are failing to meet their child support obligations.

“These parents are in debt to the Inland Revenue Department to the tune of more than $5.5 million.

“That is an absolute disgrace. The message Labour is sending to those parents is that neglecting their financial obligations to their children is okay.

“There are all sorts of loopholes that high-income earners can use to ‘hide’ their true earnings to avoid paying child support, but this Government is failing to close them.

“Assessment debt has more than doubled under Labour from $192 million to $456 million. With penalties and interest, total child support debt now stands at almost $1.2 billion.

“I note that Revenue Minister Peter Dunne is understandably appalled by the amount of outstanding child support debt. He adds that there is no excuse for people on high incomes not to meet their responsibilities.

“Well, Mr Dunne, these people are clearly being given excuses - in the form of Government inaction.

“Mr Dunne needs to give the Government he is propping up, a firm directive: get tough on wealthy child support debtors now.”


ENDS

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