Child Support laws in spotlight on TV
‘Leading family law expert’ Raylee Harley and Mark Shipman from Parents for Children were interviewed for TV1 Breakfast News today by Paul Henry. Mark did an excellent job and presented the most important messages effectively. Well done mate!
Watch the video Child Support laws in spotlight (04:57min streaming .wmv)
Raylee Harley has told the Select Committee 0n the Child Support Amendment Bill that Inland Revenue should have the power to take money directly from a liable parent’s bank account. As Shipman revealed, that already happens.
Henry asked Shipman:
“Are you happy with that? Because one of your biggest concerns were that there are always outstanding payments that are under dispute.
“Yes there are and the Commissioner does have the power and he does exercise it. We know of several people who have had money taken from their account recently. He can do that without needing to know what bank account can be accessed. I don’t see a purpose in this other than increasing the government’s ability to recover benefits.”
“There is nothing that I am aware of being sought that is not available to the powers that be now.”
Henry then asked Harley:
“What is the subtle difference that you are after?”
“The moment, that is the day after a payment is not made, the Commissioner will immediately access that bank account, and that a liable parent has an obligation to provide to the commissioner on an ongoing basis the relevant details of those bank accounts.”
Henry challenged Shipman:
“Isn’t it reasonable to say that if you are a liable parent, the authorities should be able to do anything at all to get the money from you? You are a liable parent.”
“Yes, but we’re tinkering with something that is fundamentally flawed anyway. This is the fourth Amendment to a Bill. Australia are now looking to make significant reforms in this area, and I’m struggling to figure out why we are tinkering with something that has so many fundamental flaws in it.”
“We’d like a review of the current regime, with a view to reform – not just tinkering.”
“It is not better [than it used to be in the past]. It fails the children. The 400-odd thousand that are affected by this – they are not aided by the Act.”