Child support bill closer to becoming law

NZ Herald 21 October 2015
Measures to encourage parents to pay child support and reduce the level of child support debt have taken a step closer to becoming law.

A taxation bill that includes proposals to deal with long-standing child-support debt, announced in this year’s budget, passed its second reading in Parliament yesterday.

Revenue Minister Todd McClay said the bill included measures to encourage liable parents to “re-engage with their child support obligations” and to strengthen Inland Revenue’s ability to work with parents to help with their child-support debt and make payments.

“Child-support debt is currently $3.2 billion and rising, and only around $700 million in actual child support,” Mr McClay said.

“The rest is debt from penalties. This is the legacy of a penalty system that was overly punitive and which is now being changed.”

If the bill passes its third reading, measures would come into force in April.