21 May 2014
Jerry Karlin, Chair of Families Need Fathers, commented, “All parents have an obligation to provide for their children, financially and emotionally. However, the decision to charge paying parents a 20% surcharge in the Collect and Pay system is short-sighted, and is more likely to exacerbate problems for separated families than to help them work together.
The majority of parents with open CSA cases are either unemployed or on low incomes. The Government has no information to suggest how many parents are deliberately avoiding making maintenance payments, compared to those that are experiencing genuine financial problems they require support to resolve.
A maintenance system needs to provide a platform for sustainable arrangements to be maintained. Parents who have trouble meeting a payment through circumstances beyond their control risk becoming caught up in a vicious cycle of accumulating debts and arrears owed to the Government, rather than helping to support their children, which is not in the best interests of separated families.”
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