Reposted from PCS website
Charges introduced by the Tory-led government include a £20 application fee (with no certainty of receiving any payments at the end of the process), a deduction of 7% from the resident parent’s payment (which had previously gone in its entirety to the child), and a charge on the non resident payment of20% of their maintenance payment, on top of the maintenance itself.
On average, families will loose out by £70 a year. This money could make all the difference – winter coats for the cold weather or food on the table rather than going to the government.
Labour’s review was originally scheduled to begin in 2016 but the party pledged yesterday that it will now start immediately if it is elected at the 7 May general election.
About 60% of single parent families report they already struggle financially and almost 20% of parents are lifted out of poverty by the maintenance they receive. The government estimates 100,000 families will stop using the scheme as a result of the charges.
When a child is raised in poverty their health outcomes and life prospects plummet dramatically. In 2013 a Child Poverty Action Group report estimated that the direct cost of child poverty to government was £20.5 billion resulting from costs such as additional demand for services and benefits.
PCS reps have met several times with Labour shadow ministers and their staff, and supplied compelling evidence to show why the principled position of ending charging for use of the child maintenance system made sense.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka welcomed Labour’s announcement and added that “PCS still believes the principle of charging for the system is morally wrong. Child maintenance staff know the harm this punitive policy does to children and parents, particularly those on low incomes. The money families are having to pay out could otherwise be spent putting food on the table, paying bills or sending their children on school trips.”
Extract from Gov.UK
On 30 June 2014 the Child Maintenance Service
From 11 August, if you decide to use the Collect and Pay service,
you’ll also have to pay fees for collecting and paying
out child maintenance.
You won’t have to pay any fees if you choose a family-based arrangement.
I’m sure women (or men) who have been subjected to domestic violence
would find it difficult to deal with their ex – partner by way
of the family based arrangement (see link above) and so will either
have to pay the fee or just struggle on and not bother with the CSA
or CMEC or whatever they’re bloody calling themselves this week.
Because lets be honest, it’s difficult to be amicable with someone
who’s had their hands round your throat isn’t it!