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Child Support And Welfare Reforms Pass Into Law

The House rose at 10pm interrupting debate on the second reading of the Families Commission Amendment Bill.

Earlier MPs completed the third readings of two controversial reform bills.

The Child Support Amendment Bill passed by 71 to 49 National, NZ First, Maori Party, ACT, United Future and Brendan Horan in support.

Labour supported the bill to select committee, but withdrew that support at the second reading as they believed the bill as it did not address enough of the problems with the system.

Revenue Minister Peter Dunne said the bill was the most fundamental change to the Child Support regime since it was set up in 1992.

It modernised the law and recognised that society had changed.

The support calculation was also being changed to reflect those changes, as well as individuals’ circumstances.

The bill’s starting date is now April 2014 instead of April 2013 to allow IRD time to implement the bill, a move Dunne said was regrettable, but necessary.

The Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill also passed into law by 61 to 59 with National, ACT and United Future in favour

Labour categorized the bill as beneficiary bashing, while National believed it would help get people back into work.

The bill also passed into law on Social Development Minister Paula Bennett's birthday.

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