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CSA may start to charge single parents for their "service"

(112 Posts)
CubaCat Sun 09-Jan-11 21:28:04

I saw this article in the paper at my parents house today and quite frankly, am disgusted. How the CSA can expect us to pay for their shoddy service is beyond me. Not only that, but the Govt are being spectacularly naive if they think that this will stop couples splitting up, which according to this article, is their aim. People will still split up, but all this will do is allow non resident parents to get away even more with not paying maintenance because their ex may not be able to afford the CSA's fee, especially as they'll already have to deal with the costs associated with splitting up and becoming a single parent, such as moving house, dividing finances, hiring a lawyer etc.

If they start to charge us I for one will have to withdraw my claim, as it won't be worth my while paying the CSA just for them to administrate the measly £6.25 per fortnight that I get from my twat of an ex. It took three years for the CSA to get that out of him, even though I gave them his address at the time, his full name, d.o.b, employer details, his bank details, mothers address, where and when he played his sport and even sent them a photo of him when they requested one. I rang them fortnightly (at my own cost, to their expensive "helpline"), wrote to my MP three times to complain about the CSA and see if she could hurry them up, and kept the pressure on them so my DS would get the maintenance he's entitled to. In short, I more or less did their job for them - they should pay me. There's no way on God's earth I'll be paying for that "service".

I just hope this dickwad of an idea doesn't become reality.

Meglet Sun 09-Jan-11 22:06:45

That is the most deranged, fuckwit of a plan I think I have ever seen.

CubaCat Sun 09-Jan-11 22:13:08

Well you said in one sentence what it took me three paragraphs to say meglet! Agree wholeheartedly.

WhyHavePets Sun 09-Jan-11 22:18:23

Since when has the CSA done anything about contact issues??

How can they charge when using the CSA is a pre-requisite in order to claim unemployment benefits?

If they are going to charge then the service must be an optional one and so we can refuse to use/pay for it when having to claim unemployment through no fault of our own... hmm

StellaBrillante Sun 09-Jan-11 22:21:50

It took me 4 years of harassing the CSA and it was only when I got my local MP involved that they started to genuinely deal with my case. Can you imagine 4 years' worth of fees?!?! Meanwhile, ex kept showing off new purchases to ds who was only 4 at the time (how pathetic is that?!?!) but never even asked whether ds needed a pair of shoes or school uniform.

Niceguy2 Sun 09-Jan-11 23:35:25

Erm....as a natural Tory voter may I say that Meglet is correct!

JustForThisOne Mon 10-Jan-11 00:52:35

why not shut it down instead

CubaCat Mon 10-Jan-11 06:10:44

And replace it with what, justforthisone?

ChocHobNob Mon 10-Jan-11 07:06:58

WhyHavePets, you don't have to use the CSA anymore if claiming Income Support. The rules changed last year.

MummieHunnie Mon 10-Jan-11 07:18:36

blooming heck, how are they going to charge, per claim or per £10.00. Are the charges just for new claimants? It looks like they will charge both sides, resident and no resident parents. I am not impressed sad

Snorbs Mon 10-Jan-11 07:34:55

If this is true, the stated aim of "wanting to help keep families together" is obviously just a cynical smokescreen for "wanting to make the CSA a profit centre" that would play well to the Daily Mail readers of this world.

FFS. I'd largely forgotten just how nasty a Tory government could be sad

RealityIsShaggingWithIntent Mon 10-Jan-11 07:47:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JustForThisOne Mon 10-Jan-11 09:43:23

Cuba ... replace with an agency which actually works (dreaming I know) but has anybody ever had a positive experience out of csa? if a private company in the business world gave such bad service it would be shut down, wouldnt it?

unta Mon 10-Jan-11 13:02:58

14 years and a debt of nearly £43,000 of uncollected maintenance...now that's a fabulous service worth paying for!

This is to encourage the NRP's bad behaviour to discourage PWC from chasing them, but then when you have a NRP who is self employed that bad behaviour is already encouraged and my debt just proves that!

unta Mon 10-Jan-11 13:04:19

I THINK THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE better occupied by passing legislation that insists ALL absent parents pay maintenance sadly there isn't such a law in place!

CubaCat Mon 10-Jan-11 13:39:33

Agree with Unta. Honestly, if this is brought in for current CSA users, I may as well give up fighting. Due to a tight budget I can't afford to pay anything to the CSA and my ex definitely won't pay - he won't even pay the full amount of actual maintenance that he should, let alone a fee to the CSA! If parents like me (and the rest of us on here) have to pay to sort out maintenance issues, surely more single parent families than ever will be struggling financially and potentially forced into poverty. They haven't really thought this through have they? What a joke.

coppertop Mon 10-Jan-11 13:41:44

I posted on here a couple of years ago about our experience of the CSA:

CSA and mistaken identity. How do we convince them that dh isn't the person they're after?

Basically they got dh mixed up with someone who had the same surname and first initial. Dh doesn't have any other children.

Even when they had the right information they still wasted time chasing dh just because he had the same surname and first initial. hmm It's no wonder so many families are waiting for money.

evolucy7 Mon 10-Jan-11 14:01:06

What a totally ridiculous idea.
I would assume that the majority of people using the CSA don't get on very well else they would probably have made other arrangements.
So when they are thinking of splitting up, or the father has just thought sod it this is too much like hard work I'm off, mother says, no you better not go because you might have to pay for the CSA to chase you to pay me any money to help financially support our children, well that's an excellent reason to stay together?! Father says, oh well I don't want to use the CSA and have to pay them, so I just won't pay you any money then!
As an example of a difficult situation, mine actually, (well at the start when he had an income that he declared correctly), wouldn't a far better way to do it be, if the father won't pay and the mother is forced to use the CSA, when they do then work out what he should pay (which if employed is straighforward and could have already been worked out by both parents anyway from website) and then receive the money to pay the mother, especially if after they have told him to pay and he doesn't they then have to take it from his wages, yet more unnecessary work, HE should then be charged extra, as he has created all the extra work for them.

hks Mon 10-Jan-11 16:43:59

if the CSA actually did what they were supposed to i wouldn't mind lol

i wonder how much they will want off my £5 i recieved for 2 schoolage kids
..it costs me more in phonecalls to chase up payments even though he is supposed to have a benefit deduction in place

..last time he was working it took them 14 weeks ..to track him down only for him to leave his job yet again . as soon as they tell him how much he has to pay and before i'd recieved a penny ..his employers paid him out in full even though they knew he had an order in deductions order in place from csa ..first csa knew he'd left is when they checked up to see if the'd deducted first payment for me ..it should be deducted straight away via NI / tax details

in MAY when id found out he'd came off benefits ( no £5 payment in bank) they sent me a letter asking me for recent details of him ..to which they were returned not at this address / he didnt live their , at first employers also claimed he didn't work there either

. till i gave them photo and they traced him

in 5 yrs of claiming im lucky if i have had 6 months payments
... but there are lots more parents that are worse than me

notevenamousie Mon 10-Jan-11 17:35:55

It's outrageous, and will affect the worse off, of course, just like every other Tory policy. It's so wrong - keeping families together by making women even more unsure that they can cope.
This should be mumsnet's next campaign. Gingerbread have commented here but not yet written to the government. I am not surprised the Tories think single mothers should have no vote and no voice but I am angry.

CubaCat Mon 10-Jan-11 20:37:16

Good idea notevenamousie, MN should make this their next campaign. They could do a lot to campaign against this before it's to be brought in at the end of next year. I have no idea how to suggest this to them but let's hope they pick it up.

blardyblahh Thu 13-Jan-11 09:19:49

What will this mean? I also have fought the same battle as above for the last 3 years. I have a deduction of earnings order in place on my ex husband and luckily have had all arrears owed to me. BUT if this ridiculous charging comes into force,.. does that mean the ex twat can just fake a new circumstance, they put the claim on hold and i will then have to pay for them to investigate it (again with all the information i supply them with).

On the flip side.. I'm looking to go back to work, my oldest son lives with the ex, i already pay minimal csa to the ex, if i return to work and dont inform the csa, will my ex then have to pay them to investigate me... he can't afford that!

2rebecca Thu 13-Jan-11 09:31:43

I think the current system is reasonable where you pay a percentage of your income after tax depending on how many kids you have and how often they are with you. I think It's unfair it's reduced if the nonres parent then chooses to have extra kids or live with someone with kids.
The old CSA system was horrendously complex and some non res parents could end up paying nearly half their salary to their ex if they were honest. That was the system that really gave the CSA a bad name.
My ex and I just use the online CSA calculator to work out the amount to pay.
The Tory idea sounds incredibly stupid and unnecessary, although I don't think tax payers should be paying large amounts for people's relationship breakups and if the courts do become involved think some of that cost should be able to be recouped fromthe couple who couldn't/ wouldn't try sorting it out themselves first. Courts should always be a last resort for everything as they are so expensive.

blardyblahh Thu 13-Jan-11 09:37:24

I agree that many couples should try and sort out their differences, this (if it comes into force) though is penalising women who have left through domestic violence (like myself) i stayed for years for the sake of my children, until i was ill myself, haven't these women paid enough emotionally??

RealityIsShaggingWithIntent Thu 13-Jan-11 09:40:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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