Children and debt to government

Te Atatū – Insights Brief: Children and debt to go…
01 Nov 2022


Children and debt insights Te Atatū - Insights Brief: Children and debt to government draws evidence from examination of debt to government to examine the impact of debt on families with children.

Key Results

While debt to government is recorded against an individual, it can affect every member of the household. This is especially true for dependent children. This Insights Brief draws on evidence from our examination of debt owed to
three major government agencies to examine the impact of debt on children:

  • 62% of the 713,000 people who owe debt to government are parents or share an address with a child.
  • Debt to the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) is the most common debt type to be owed by people with children.
  • More than 60% of MSD and fines debt is owed by parents or people who share an address with children.
  • Debtors with children are more than twice as likely to owe debt to more than one agency (compared to debtors without children).
  • Parents with debt to MSD are 25% more likely to have debt that has persisted for at least five years compared to debtors without children.
Page last modified: 12 Oct 2023