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Child Support Will Be More Balanced: Dunne

Changes to the child support system will make it more balanced but Parliament would not be able to legislate for every family’s circumstances, Inland Revenue Minister Peter Dunne said today.

Introducing the Child Support Amendment Bill Dunne said it would provide ``very significant’’ reform.

The current system had been introduced in 1992 and largely unchanged. It has intended to be simple and easily understandable, but it had become unfair to many.

Dunne said the number of complaints about child support were indicative of the problems and complaints about it made up 40 percent of his ministerial correspondence.

A review had begun in 2008 and while he shared some frustration that progress had not been more rapid, but the system was complex.

He said it was impossible to legislate for every possible situation, but a strong balance would be reached as it recognised shared care arrangements more common and complicated.

One of the problems with the system was that the Child Support system was meant to be the fall back option when parents could not agree but had instead become default position instead for many of the 210,000 children it covered, Dunne said

Labour MP David Clark said his party would support the bill to select committee as the system was unfair, but the bill would have to be considered carefully.

The bill was sent to the Social Service Committee for consideration by 106 to 15 with Greens and Mana opposed.

Earlier the International Finance Agreements Amendment Bill passed its first reading by 103 to 18 with the Greens, Maori Party and Mana opposing.


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