Unpaid child support $17m – Taranaki

Taranaki Daily News 22 July 10

Taranaki parents owe the taxman a staggering $17 million in unpaid child support. Inland Revenue documents released to the Taranaki Daily News show more than half the parents liable for child support in the region had an outstanding debt. A total of $6.7m of the money is assessment debt, money either passed directly on to the childrens’ guardian or paid to the Government to cover the cost of providing a benefit to support the children. The rest of the owed money – more than $10m – is made up in penalties.

…Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said there were major shortcomings with the assessment and collection of child support payments. “There are parents who shirk their responsibility. Some parents are happy for the sex but not the consequences,” Mr McCoskrie said. The children and responsible parent became the victims, he said. “We must hold people accountable for their actions.” Mr McCoskrie said parents were also losing out because the Family Court system did not start with the presumption of shared parenting and endorsed no-fault divorce. “Parents who want to maintain a marriage and family can lose everything and the DPB can simply drive the problem further by rewarding the breakdown,” he said.