Well that’s another fine mess you got me into!
The Work and Pensions Minister, John Hutton, announced on 24th July 2006 that the Child Support Agency was to be abolished. Why? Because it was too expensive and failing (in other words rubbish) at collecting Child Maintenance from recalcitrant parents.
Great. What will it be replaced by?
A tougher, more streamlined body. A simpler system that will encourage people to make their own arrangements and have tougher measures of enforcement.
Encouragement to Do It Yourself (DIY) includes:
- Stop making parents with care who are on benefits make a claim AND allow them to keep more of the child maintenance they receive before it hits their level of benefits.
- Charge the non resident parent for the new assessment service if the parent with care has to make a claim. Given that it’s a readily available, easily calculable, set formula linked to the non resident parent’s net income I suggest the charge should be £10,000.00!
New enforcement plans include:
- Removal of passports
- Use of curfews
- Name and shame. My favorite (see previous post Children – Maintenance July 14th 2006)
The Government’s ambition is to have some of it in place by 2008, but the Government also had an ambition once to end Child Poverty and improve the National Health Service!
The Government will produce a White Paper in the autumn with final, detailed plans.
Both the Old Scheme and the New Scheme will be closed down and everyone will have to make a claim on the New, New Scheme, at the same time ensuring that no claims are lost and no children suffer financial hardship. Right! Does anyone remember what happened when the new Tax Credits System was introduced? Does anyone remember the chaos over the Criminal Records Checks for teachers? Does anyone remember decimalisation?