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94% of Aussie-based liable parents in debt

Judith Collins MP
National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

11 October 2006

94% of Aussie-based liable parents in debt

“Nearly all of the liable parents living in Australia are in debt to either the custodial parent or the New Zealand taxpayer,” says National Party Welfare spokesman Judith Collins.

Answers to written parliamentary questions show 94% of New Zealand paying parents known to be living in Australia are behind on their child support payments.

“And that’s just those who are known to Kiwi authorities. It doesn’t include the vast number of delinquent parents who have skipped the country and slipped off the radar.”

Liable parents owe some $1.1 billion and liable parents living in Australia owe a staggering $282 million compared with $73 million in 2003.

“Labour should be ashamed that it has allowed the situation to get this bad. National says liable parents with child support big debts should be stopped at the border.

“Now that Labour has finally taken action against fines defaulters in a bid to protect taxpayers and victims, it’s time for David Benson-Pope to stand up for the child victims of delinquent parents.”

Even within New Zealand, regional figures show an average of 69% of liable parents are in debt to the IRD.

“It’s inevitable that some of these figures will be small. But when the debts owed by liable parents have soared to $1.1 billion nationally the issue should be treated with some urgency.”

Of the 65,319 liable parents assessed to pay $14 per week towards the upkeep of their children, 44,339 are in debt to IRD.

“For the sake of the children, the vast number of parents who take their responsibilities seriously, and the New Zealand taxpayer, Labour needs to launch a crackdown instead of making excuses.”


Question For Written Answer No 13485(2006)

For Answer on 04/10/2006

Judith Collins to the Minister of Revenue:

What percentage of all liable parents are currently in debt to IRD: broken down by region, including Australia?

Hon Peter Dunne [Minister of Revenue] replied:

The following table shows the percentage of all paying parents with a child support debt by location. These include paying parents who have a current liability for child support, as well as those who have no current liability, but who have a child support debt only.

Location Percentage in debt
Christchurch 64%
Dunedin 63%
Gisborne 74%
Hamilton 70%
Invercargill 70%
Manukau 76%
Napier 73%
Nelson 64%
New Plymouth 65%
Palmerston North 67%
Rotorua 74%
Takapuna 71%
Tauranga 69%
Wellington 69%
Whangarei 73%
NZ paying parents known to be living in Australia 94%


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