CSA reform - single parents to pay to use service - to be very angry!!

(393 Posts)
timefliesby Wed 19-Mar-14 14:31:01

www.gingerbread.org.uk/news_detail.aspx?ID=235

So, the government is closing all existing child maintenance cases over the next three years and washing its hands of the £3.5 billion it has FAILED to collect on behalf of single parents. They say they'd like to give separated parents "the chance to come to a private arrangement" or failing that, all those single parents - you know, the ones that aren't getting anything for their children - to PAY to use the CSA. Yes that's right...pay to use the service which has FAILED to collect £3.5 billion owed. But just to hoodwink you into thinking you're getting a new service they'll rebrand it the CMS (wonder how much that's costing?).

Here's a revolutionary thought...the parents that are on friendly enough terms to agree a private arrangement have got a private arrangement already. Which harebrained, ignorant, idiot sat and looked at it and went "I know...we'll just get them to agree it between themselves"...no matter that some of them may have escaped just about with their limbs in place or endured years of control freak behaviour from the non-resident parent.

WHAT A JOKE!!!!

It used to be with the jurisdiction of the courts, because the only language these non-resident parents actually understand is "the bailiffs are going to be sent in" or "you will be going to prison.. if you don't adequately contribute to your children's upkeep."

Then the CSA came along and children suffered for it...now it's the CMS which is basically just the government's excuse to wash their hands of the whole debacle because which cash strapped, single parent can afford to pay for a service that fails to actually secure them any financial contribution towards their children???

Oh and the £3.5 billion is much lower than the figure would be had they actually made a maintenance decision on all those self employed fathers claiming they live on £600 a month whilst owning several companies...

DISCUSS PLEASE!

JourneyToThePlacentaOfTheEarth Wed 19-Mar-14 14:35:47

jesus wept

JourneyToThePlacentaOfTheEarth Wed 19-Mar-14 14:42:15

I'm sorry but I am speechless about this. These 'people' who have been avoiding paying for their children for months and even years need to be dealt with by the courts. My understanding is that people fact prison sentences in America for avoiding their child support payments. I know of a number of women, myself included, who are working and paying for their children alone, while these so called 'fathers' do everything possible to avoid paying. In my case he has not worked this year but as he is classed as employed - albeit on a zero hours contract - nothing can be done to find out how he has enough money to eat yet doesnt work. My friend has an ex who has let his house be repossessed rather than allow a charge to be put on it for the thousands of pounds of arrears he owes. does the government think that charging single parents, who have faced their responsibilities and are paying for their kids, for this 'service' is the way forward. No they should be looking to recoup their costs from the non resident parent by any means necessary!

ItsSpringBaby Wed 19-Mar-14 14:49:26

I've heard about this and I just cannot understand the logic behind it AT ALL.

timefliesby Wed 19-Mar-14 17:26:04

I'm amazed there's not more of an outcry about it.
I wonder whether it would be quite so hush if it were mainly resident fathers awaiting payment from non-resident mothers...rather than the other way around.

pointythings Wed 19-Mar-14 21:25:11

We need to go to the American system, fast. I know that putting these men in jail doesn't get their children any money but it will bloody well make them think again. (I do hope they do it to non-paying women too, btw).

Successive governments have completely failed to address this problem, they're all as bad as each other.

FrontForward Wed 19-Mar-14 21:33:25

Well said OP

I think the CSA has realised its inability to recover monies from NRPs who are determined to evade paying for their children so the govt has, as you say washed its hands of the whole problem. Rather than admitting it, they have rebranded and come up with a scheme guaranteed to have poor take up so they can claim they are successful with the small number that do sign up

It's disgraceful how many RPs bring up children unsupported

Meglet Wed 19-Mar-14 21:33:48

I have been fighting this for 3yrs now. I've written to my MP several times and the Lords (some of whom were great and opposed the plans).

Now it has gone through I am sick with fear what will happen when they ask absent, abusive XP to pay more. We will be at risk again.

I'm in the process of drafting a letter to the CSA saying that as a victim of domestic abuse they must not contact XP asking him to make a private collaborative agreement, neither can they raise his payments by 20%, or whatever they are suggesting. Instead I am going to ask if people like me can have the opportunity to have all the CSA charges taken out of our payments and the NRP not have to pay more money. It means I will lose approx 25% of my maintenance, but we will be safe from XP because he won't start kicking off about giving us more money.

I hope there's a special place in hell for the Tories who pushed this nasty idea though angry.

bunchoffives Wed 19-Mar-14 22:46:40

I wonder where RPs stand in law?

Could you instigate a small claims court case each year? Invoice NRP for 50% of costs re child.

I'd love to put together such an invoice and send it the follow it up when it was unpaid through the court.

CSA are an uncomfortable failure for the Tories who touted it as a panacea to the increasing breakdown of marriage and lone parents in the 80s.

Now 40% of marriages end in divorce according the ONS figures out last week. That's a lot of unhappy voters Cameron you idiot

Blondieminx Wed 19-Mar-14 22:56:43

Whaaaaat?!

That is the most batshit stupid idea to come out of this government in ages. Do they not twig that a good way of reducing the amount paid out to women left quite literally holding the baby when the feckless fathers feck off, would be to ensure that men who have contributed genetically to a child also contribute financially?

Can you imagine HMRC writing off that amount cos it was too much hassle? So why is it ok to leave RP's short changed? Just appalling angryangryangry

niceguy2 Wed 19-Mar-14 23:04:37

These proposals have been around for quite some time now.

To be fair the CSA has been an abject failure from day 1. Yes it was set up by the Tories but Labour didn't manage to get it any better either. The CMEC was supposed to be a reboot but ultimately it's failed.

Now we can pick over why it's been such a waste of time & energy but ultimately it boils down to one thing. Too many NRP's have been allowed to get away with non-payment.

Why do most of us pay tax? Because we've no choice. We'd get found out, fined to within an inch of our lives before probably being thrown in prison.

That deterrence doesn't exist for non-payers. In fact I'm sorry but too many women have been complicit too. Let's face it, how many of these feckless fathers leave a trail of devastation in their wake yet there seems to be no shortage of women willing to shag them. If non payment of child maintenance was as socially acceptable as drink driving then I think we'd find more paying. Once the guys started to lose all their mates and no woman would shag them, they'd soon think twice.

Ok, with all that said and done, what do I think about charging for the use of the CSA.

Personally I think it just shows how out of touch this Tory government has been. Even Thatcher who was arguably more free market and right wing didn't charge for the CSA. But this bunch of muppets thinks it's a good idea!?!?!

The real answer is to start breaking a few eggs in order to make an omelette. Attach deduction of earnings orders to payroll via the tax code. So if they move jobs, the deduction moves with them. They can't easily escape then unless they fancy a lifetime of cash in hand. £5 per week for benefits? Bollocks. Apply the same formula. 15% for one child, 20% for two etc. Just because you are on benefits doesn't negate the principle.

Persistent avoider? Arrest warrant, police round them up and then how about a few weeks at her majesty's pleasure? That should make the majority think twice. It's called deterrence! People don't fuck with the taxman because the perception it won't end well for you. The same fear should apply for the CSA.

But ultimately like I said, society attitudes need to change. The govt can't do this alone. For every feckless man who avoids his responsibilities there's a mum/dad who didn't instil responsibility into him. A woman who thinks she can change him and she's different than the last one he left. And friends who conveniently ignore the fact he's not providing for his child(ren).

pointythings Wed 19-Mar-14 23:10:49

Everything niceguy2 just said. wine

FrontForward Wed 19-Mar-14 23:26:35

I take issue with the implication that I'm partly to blame for a non paying father. I was married 23 yrs and didn't think I could change him as when I married him there was no need to. I haven't been complicit and shagging lots of non paying fathers...

Divorce happens to ordinary people you know. I didn't marry a no hoper abuser who'd been through a stack of women before me. That stereotype is offensive. We were an ordinary happy couple for many years.

Divorce changes people. Some previously civilised individuals become bitter and nasty and determined to take revenge. Paying child maintenance is a bitter pill to swallow when you want to hurt someone. It is however in my view not optional. It's not a decision you should be able to take to wreak revenge on an ex partner.

The fact that I am bringing up 3 children alone both practically and financially is not my fault. The fact that he can opt out is shocking.

The culture is wrong. The fact that single mothers are assumed to be feckless women picking equally feckless men and shagging a sequence of them is part of that culture.

Meglet Thu 20-Mar-14 06:54:06

I do have a paying NRP, never had a problem with the CSA actually. It's just he will start letting my car tyres down - threatening us when they raise his payment. The money the CSA are going to get out of us will be dwarfed by the cost to the police and our safety.

Luckily we'll be one of the last cases they close and reopen under the new system so I have time to make my case for taking all of the money off of me. If I could I'd shut down the whole thing but XP would then think I was in a new relationship and flare up again.

The changes have put victims of abuse in the firing line. It won't be the CSA or the tories who get the abuse, it will be us.

TickleMyTitsTillFriday Thu 20-Mar-14 07:07:33

I can't believe this has actually gone through. I signed all the petitions.

My ex owes me about £4000 and they finally took him to court for a liability order so the bailliffs could go round (wish I had been a fly on the wall for that one!) But I only got to that point after daily phone calls and involving my MP 5 times.

The answer to the CSA is for them to have proper case management so that these useless cunts are FORCED to pay.

I will have to pay for it as there is no way my ex will do it without the threat of bailliffs, losing his driving licence or prison.

See, they do have the powers, they just don't have the case management skills.

timefliesby Thu 20-Mar-14 07:08:14

Thanks for the responses above. Has no one else got anything else to say about the government writing off the £3.5k billion owed to single parents? About the hours, weeks, years these women have played detective on behalf of the CSA to secure financial contributions for their children just to be told "sorry, we give up". If no on else has anything to say, I'm taking it to MNHQ. This should be national news, a main story. Etc. do single mothers not matter?

timefliesby Thu 20-Mar-14 07:18:36

Oh just seen this has gone from four to sixteen replies over night. Good there are people as angry as me out there!! Let's do something about it. The CSA is a joke when it comes to protection from these idiots. Instead I making a decision, they send him a copy of everything I send them (for his opinion) so that he can hurl some more of his vile abuse my way. I'd like to know when my case is due for closure seeing as I've yet to receive a penny...think I'll ring them today. I'm going to try get this more media exposure so they can't quietly close our cases and make us go away...

Blondieminx Thu 20-Mar-14 07:25:56

I really do think this is something MNHQ should do a campaign on.

Niceguy2 has it right, maintenance should be tied in with the tax code do it can't be avoided as easily, and the CSA should go after feckless fathers more aggressively so there are consequences e.g. Prison for avoiding maintenance.

The individual cases may be small amounts but they all add up and £3.5m is a lot of money - how many policemen and healthcare workers would that pay for?

Meglet Thu 20-Mar-14 07:38:50

time IIRC they are planning to close and reopen cases starting with older children first (presumably because the RP will just give up for the sake of a couple of years of maintenance and never reopen it) then working their way through to families with younger children.

I have campaigned in every way possible about this, done everything gingerbread asked, written letters to MP's and Lords. Loads of charities opposed the idea and The Lords did actually block the plans (maybe 18 months ago?) But the Tories pushed it through. Cunts.

FrogbyAnotherName Thu 20-Mar-14 07:55:09

I really do think this is something MNHQ should do a campaign on

It's way to late for that. Legislation was passed over a year ago, new cases have been assessed under the "new rules" for some time and the implementation of the timetable for closing old cases is months behind schedule.

If MNHQ wanted to campaign against it, the time to do that was when the legislation was being debated in the Houses of Parliament.

It was widely discussed at the time in public forum by parenting charities, political commentators and the media - I'm not sure by this has come as a surprise to anyone who will be affected?

JourneyToThePlacentaOfTheEarth Thu 20-Mar-14 08:06:45

niceguy I agree with you completely. I would even vote for you at the next election.

I didn't read your comment as saying that rp are enabling these men by shagging them. Anyone's marriage can breakdown and then you can see a different side to the person you used to love. In my case the ex has remarried and had more kids with a woman who knows he hardly pays for or sees his kids. She doesn't care. I would be ashamed to have a dh who completely ignores his kids and his responsibilities. It should be socially unacceptable and a criminal act to flout the law like this. Luckily I have remarried too and dh is happy to raise and pay for his step sons

timefliesby Thu 20-Mar-14 10:18:47

Niceguy2 I agree with others that us single mothers come from all walks of life, situations and circumstances. Having said that, I get your point. I was amazed that my ex partner's family appeared complicit with his decision not to support us. Happily allowing him to look down on us from his castle whilst we moved in with my mother. As for his new victim girlfriend, unfortunately, these men don't come with a warning sign around their neck. If she knew it all...I can't imagine she'd be with him.

Bunchoffives great idea, I wonder if it would work?

Frogbyanothername yes and I signed Gingerbread's campaign and wrote to my MP. Reform has taken many different formats over the years, none of which have worked. They said that the vote should be "male persons" in 1932 and it took 97 years for reform/women to get the vote. Just because it's gone through for now doesn't mean it is over...

Meglet quelle surpise! This just confirms the theory that the CMS is a cover to wash their hands of us..

Blondiemix £3.5 BILLION not million! And that was in 2006, so it's probably more now...

This is an interesting article on the history. It suggests we have come full circle but have we? My ex took me to court for residency. Had the CSA not existed, the courts could have ruled on maintenance payments at the same time as they granted me residency...but I was told that I HAD to go through the CSA. So what would happen under the new system? Would I be allowed to have it decided by the courts or would I be told to go and pay for the new CMS? The fact is, as many people have stated above, legal rulings are the only thing these NRPs understand. www.discoversociety.org/policy-briefing-agency-and-the-child-support-agency/

LadyMaryLikesCake Thu 20-Mar-14 10:27:55

You know why they are doing this? 10 years ago (ish, don't quote me on this) maintenance used to be used when they calculated benefits, housing benefit and so forth as it was classed as income. The Labour Gov thought this was unfair so ruled that child maintenance payments could no longer be used in this way and it's cost billions.

All parents, whether male or female, who refuse to contribute towards their child's upkeep should be charged with child neglect. If the RP didn't feed or clothe their child then this is what would happen to them, so why allow the NRP to do this?

My ex is now no longer in the UK so I had to take him to court when he stopped paying as the CSA no longer have jurisdiction. It didn't cost me anything other than time.

timefliesby Thu 20-Mar-14 10:32:44

Lords warn child maintenance charges are ‘unjustified in principle’ http://www.gingerbread.org.uk/news/236/maintenance-charges-unjustified

timefliesby Thu 20-Mar-14 11:24:50

I found this thread that MNHQ started in 2012 www.mumsnet.com/Talk/parenting/a1546160-Changes-to-child-maintenance-system-looking-for-Mumsnetters-responses-to-a-government-consultation

I have asked them to report back on the changes, help in clarifying the situation and take up the cause.

I have also written to my MP once again...

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