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Dunne Welcomes Second Reading Of 'Fairer' Child Support Bill

Hon Peter Dunne
Minister of Revenue

Tuesday 26 February 2013 Media Statement

Dunne Welcomes Second Reading Of ‘Fairer’ Child Support Bill

The Child Support Amendment Bill, which proposes major reforms to make the child support system fairer, had its second reading in Parliament today.

Revenue Minister Peter Dunne welcomed the bill’s progress, saying it was another step closer to modernising and improving the child support system for thousands of children and parents.

“There has been huge public interest in the proposed reforms since I first announced a review of the child support scheme and released a government discussion document outlining proposals to improve the scheme.

“That paper attracted a large amount of feedback from parents and others with an interest in the welfare of the children involved in the scheme.

“The changes proposed in the bill have been shaped by that feedback and are the most fundamental set of changes to the child support system since its introduction over twenty years ago,” Mr Dunne said.

They include a new child support calculation formula that includes greater recognition of shared care and the income of both parents and new, up-to-date estimates of expenditure for raising children.

The proposed new formula was designed to better reflect the many social and legal changes that have occurred since the scheme began, such as a greater emphasis on separated parents sharing the care of, and financial responsibility for, their children, he said.

Other changes have been designed to update the way Inland Revenue administers the scheme, such as the collection of child support payments and the penalties for late payment.

The child support scheme itself is intended as a back-up when separated parents are unable to make satisfactory private arrangements for the financial support of their children.

“Ideally, no one would be using it at all and every couple that split would come to satisfactory arrangements to provide for the well-being and welfare of their children, but sadly that is not always achieved. That’s where child support comes in,” he said.

There are currently about 210,000 children in the scheme, which is administered on their behalf by Inland Revenue.


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