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Fri 6th October 2006

Dear Mr Copeland.

Filed under: General — Downunder @ 8:40 pm

Gordon Copeland
List MP
Responsibilities
Economics & Business
Finance; Revenue; Customs; Public Trust; Economic Development; Industry & Regional Development; Small Business; Commerce; State Owned Enterprises; Labour & Immigration;

—– Original Message —–
From: Bevan Berg
To: gordon.copeland@parliament.govt.nz
Sent: Friday, October 06, 2006 9:29 PM
Subject: United Future Revenue Spokesmen.

Dear Mr Copeland,
Having visited your United Future website I see you are spokesman for Revenue. As your portfolio includes child support I would be grateful if you would give me your opinion on the new child support legislation before parliament. In particular you might like to address two issues.
1. What impact do you think the new legislation will have on Small Business (also part of your portfolio.)
2. What effect is the new legislation likely to have on families and children.

While you are reading this you are probably thinking this is already on the MENZ website and you would be right. If there is no reply in the comments, readers will be well aware that you did not reply to me.

Bevan Berg.

One Response to “Dear Mr Copeland.”

  1. Bevan Berg says:

    We have the United Future Reply, your opinions please gentlemen.

    _______________________________________

    From: “Gordon Copeland”
    To:
    Subject: RE: United Future Revenue Spokesmen.
    Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2006 15:59:37 +1300

    Dear Mr Berg,

    Thank you for your letter about the recent child support
    legislation, which I received on Friday 6th October.

    As you are no doubt aware, the only such bill was Child
    Support Amendment (No.4) and it received Royal Assent on 25
    September 2006. I am happy to give you my opinion on this
    piece of legislation and answer your questions.

    First, I believe this Act will have minimal impact upon
    small businesses, if any. I will explain this in my next
    point.

    Second, I am hopeful that this bill will have a positive
    impact upon families and especially children.

    The Child Support Amendment (No.4) Act is an attempt to
    reconnect liable parents with their responsibilities and
    with the IRD, so they can pick up their responsibilities and
    start paying once again and to remove the barriers that
    would stop them doing that.

    I am sure you are aware that when a liable parent stops
    paying child support, interest accrues upon that debt.
    Interest can grow at a terrifying speed and become an
    impediment for a parent wanting to begin again making
    payments.

    This Act allows that parent to re-commence support payments
    with the arrangement that the out-standing interest will be
    wiped. As an aside, children do not receive interest
    payments, they go to IRD. So children are not the losers
    under this Act, rather the Crown coffers are.

    The Act does not allow liable parents to get off scot-free
    from making payments. Rather, these are parents who at
    present, are getting off scot-free. They are not making any
    payments and the primary aim of this Act is to encourage
    liable parents to (re) begin making child support payments.

    The Act does have another function. It strengthens the IRD’s
    ability to investigate liable parents who deliberately
    structure their financial affairs to avoid paying the proper
    amount of child support and to get exemptions from the child
    support system. Specifically these are parents who channel
    their monies into trusts so as to pay a reduced amount of
    child support.

    The only exemptions to these features are parents under 16
    and those parents who are victims of sexual crimes. Parents
    under 16 do not have to pay child support. This is to
    encourage teen parents to remain in education so that they
    will be able to provide for a better life for their
    child/ren later. The second exemption is that it is unfair
    for those people who become parents as victims of a sexual
    crime must then pay child support, as this would add to
    their trauma. This is quite unlikely to affect many people.

    I believe that this Act has the potential to help estranged
    families. Those liable parents who want to participate in
    their children’s lives will find it easier; it will be more
    possible for them to take that first step to re-commence
    child support.

    Yours sincerely,

    Gordon Copeland MP
    United Future

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