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Child support changes will confuse and frustrate

David CLARK

Revenue Spokesperson

18 December 2013     MEDIA STATEMENT

Child support changes will confuse and frustrate

Angry parents will be sent into a tailspin and there will be arguments over Christmas dinner after Inland Revenue shelved child support changes for a year, Labour’s Revenue spokesperson David Clark says.

“A new, more complex, child support regime has been passed through Parliament with the aim of creating a fairer system. But a system that keeps changing is fair to no-one.

“Todd McClay is fudging the reason for the delay but the truth is this problem is directly caused by the Government's failure to replace its ageing IRD computer system.

“Many parents will already have paid for legal and financial advice on how Child Support changes affect them. Those who think the changes are favourable will be angry they have been delayed. Those who don't like the changes will be frustrated at the inconvenience and cost of preparing for them, only to now learn of delay.
“Many will have made personal and financial arrangements that will be directly affected.

"Inland Revenue told the Government its computer system was on its last legs five years ago. Two years ago John Key finally admitted it was holding tax reform back. However, the Government still hasn't laid out a credible plan to fix it. About $50 million has been spent on international consultants and all that has been achieved is an ‘in principle’ agreement to proceed with preparing more business cases.

“Extra legislation through Parliament to delay implementing these child support changes comes at a cost to the taxpayer.

“This debacle is unnecessary and could have been avoided if the Minister had his eye on the ball. Releasing information a week after Parliament has risen is as cynical as it is unfortunate. Blended families and solo parents are faced with stressful news while doing their best to make Christmas arrangements in the best interests of their children.

“Todd McClay needs to apologise to the families he has put under financial stress. It is real people's lives he is ruining this Christmas,” David Clark says.

ENDS

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