In July 2008, the media published banner headlines generated
from media releases issued by the Australian Government's Minister for Human Services, Senator
Joe Ludwig which includes:
Spies on dads dodging child support - Herald Sun, 23 June 2008,
Services Minister Joe Ludwig announced today that undercover
surveillance of parents would commence from July 1, in a bid to collect
almost $1 billion in child support debt across Australia. I want child
support cheats to be caught out on camera so the courts can see the
Deadbeat dads fleeing to debt-free haven - The Australian, 30 July 2008,
"Separated parents living overseas now owe around $90 million in
payments to their kids back in Australia," Senator Ludwig said.
Chasing down deadbeat dads - Herald Sun, 1 August 2008,
Senator Ludwig also said
“More than 20,000 separated parents are denying their children support
by fleeing the country.
These mostly deadbeat dads owe a startling $90 million in child support
and are guilty of a double betrayal.
Deadbeat dads don't need a visa to enter New Zealand and governments need to
work together to identify and track down runaway parents.”
The one billion dollar debt level is a cumulative total incurred from
the commencement of the child Support scheme in 1988/89. Over $500
million debt had accumulated by 1996/97. The Child Support Agency ( CSA ) has
already been criticised by the Auditor General for using cumulative
totals in their efforts to justify their performance.
Yet the CSA continues to do so, as well as ignoring false debts created using
unsustainable or unrealistic income determinations. Neither can the
accuracy of assessments be thoroughly checked when address details for
15% of clients cannot be confirmed. If the information were available it
would be interesting to know how much of this debt is uncollectable
because the payer is unemployed, disabled or deceased or the child’s
circumstances have changed, but remain unacknowledged by CSA?
According to published CSA data, 96 per cent of all child support due
has been paid.
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