AUSTRALIA’s ‘no child support orders will never change’ law will be extended to include parents with children under the age of 18, the Governor has announced.
“No child maintenance order can ever be an excuse to disregard your child’s welfare,” Senator Jacqui Lambie said in a statement released to the media.
“In my experience, that is precisely what is happening to parents of young children, particularly the young ones whose welfare has been jeopardised.”
Senator Lambie has previously made the controversial decision to allow parents with young children to access a child support payment.
“I know what it feels like to have to look after your kids, and that is not something you can take for granted,” she said.
“And it is not an easy decision to make.”
The legislation will come into effect from July 1.
The new legislation will see a cap on payments of up to $3,000 per child under the ages of 18 and parents who are under the legal age of 16 will be able to apply for a higher rate of support. “
The Government has already taken significant steps to ensure families can access child support on a consistent basis, and today the Government is taking even further steps to make sure New Zealand families can get the support they need.”
The new legislation will see a cap on payments of up to $3,000 per child under the ages of 18 and parents who are under the legal age of 16 will be able to apply for a higher rate of support.
It will also see a new threshold to get child support reduced from $3.25 per day to $2.50.
The legislation comes after a similar change was made in 2016, which saw the cap rise from $2,500 to $6,500 per child.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Social Development said it was working to implement the new legislation, but that it was too early to say how long the change would take to be fully implemented.
“We are confident that the new policy will be effective in reducing the impact on the child support system,” the spokesperson said.
Senator Lamb is also expected to unveil a bill to provide a new funding stream for the Department of Social Services.
“This funding stream will provide the Government with the financial resources it needs to support the delivery of child care services for all children and families, including those with developmental disabilities,” the spokeswoman said.