Sunday Star Times 04/07/2010
Child-support dodgers owe their children – and the taxman – billions. Inland Revenue is owed more than $1.8 billion by parents who have shirked their financial responsibilities. Figures released to the Sunday Star-Times by Inland Revenue show that of the 176,500 people liable for child support, 121,500 are behind in their payments. Together they owe more than $560 million in unpaid child support and $1.2b in late payment penalties and interest. The top five defaulters alone have an outstanding bill of $5.7m.
“It’s a national disgrace,” said Bob McCoskrie, national director of lobby group Family First. “What it communicates is that people can go around and make children and then show next to no responsibility in terms of their well-being,” he said. “You have to pay up for the consequences of your choices. If we enforced the consequences, then maybe people would think more seriously about conceiving a child they have no intention of showing any responsibility for. At the end of the day, it’s not only the child being penalised, it is also placing extra pressure on the responsible parent and it’s already probably tough enough for them as it is.”
Family First Comment:
1. 1 in 5 liable parents are the mother
2. 2008 figures show that nearly 13,000 liable parents live overseas yet this group owes one third of the total debt.
3. In 2007, 40,000 were required to pay the bare minimum child support of $14.03 and about half of them are failing to make even those payments
There are 2 components to this
· parents who shirk their responsibility. Some parents are happy for the sex but not the consequences – this was the basis of our comments
· dads who are losing out because our Family court system and the ‘anti-men’ establishment endorse no fault divorce and favour mothers in the process. Fathers who want to maintain a marriage and family can lose everything. And the DPB simply drives the problem further.
We support the call for shared parenting laws.
READ about Child Support (IRD)