August 13th, 2009


La la la

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I'm sorry, Mr Dunne, I'm not quite finished. Yesterday when I got home from work, I found a letter from IRD, telling me that I owe $4.78 in Child Support. Remember when I overpaid and they paid me back, then decided that I did actually owe them some so they took it from my end-of-year tax return without telling me? Apparently they messed that up too.

At the bottom of the account was a tear-off slip on which I could write the amount of my payment. On this I wrote; "Please feel free to retrieve the $4.78 from *name of paying parent*, since he currently owes me ~$1200 in unpaid Child Support. I am happy for you to do this." I then placed this in the handy provided envelope (which I notice they now expect me to pay postage for), for posting back to them today.

I am not normally facetious. I appreciate that government departments have a big job, and that errors happen. But when every single dealing I have with a department is an error, when my son is going without things and I am going slowly broke because of those errors, and when there are no explanations or guarantees that the errors won't keep happening - well, everybody loses patience eventually, and I just did. I have no intention of paying their $4.78.

I appreciate your time in reading this. I don't know what you can do to help me, but I know you are lobbying for reforms to the Child Support system and if anything in the story I've told motivates, helps or amuses you, or causes someone to come up with a way of improving the service (like, you know, making sure information in their databases is actually current and proliferates to all departments - my income from 5 years ago? what? how?) - that would make me very happy.

Kind regards,