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Dunne buys into Labour policy on parent debt

Judith Collins MP
National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

17 November 2005


Dunne buys into Labour policy on parent debt

National Party Welfare spokeswoman Judith Collins says she is disappointed Revenue Minister Peter Dunne plans to proceed with the “anything but commonsense policy” to write off half a billion dollars in liable parent debt.

“This Clark/Peters Government just can’t stop giving away taxpayers’ money.
Around $2 billion will transfer to students from workers through the loans bribe, and now half a billion will transfer to liable parents who aren’t taking responsibility for their kids.

“I had hoped that Mr Dunne, as Minister of Revenue, might bring a commonsense approach to the issue of unpaid child support, which has now passed the $1 billion mark and is reaching record levels.

“Writing off debt sends the worst possible message to absent liable parents. The Government is telling them that if they dodge their responsibilities for long enough they will get a discount. That is the wrong message to send.

“Those who do the right thing and pay their way will be left wondering why they bothered. Our vulnerable children deserve better than a child support collection system that rewards debt dodgers.

“Hiding debt by writing it off is not the answer.”

Ms Collins is urging Peter Dunne to review the whole area of child support payments.

“Too many Kiwi parents are still escaping to Australia to avoid their obligations here, despite the reciprocal agreement we have with our nearest neighbour,” says Ms Collins.

ENDS

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