A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Suffer Little Children?

In some ways I blame the Government, in some ways I don't. The whole sorry tale of divorce, misery, anger, and whatever, associated with the break-up of families carries on now into a further chapter. Private debt collectors are to be used to collect money from absent parents who fail to pay child support money, as if this is going to help the cause of family life. Blair and his cronies sound tough, and yes, his "respect" agenda may do some good, but sending round the heavies who, in the absence of hard cash, will cast a beady eye round for saleable items such as TVs, hi-fi, and computers. All likely to make a child's life happy!

The Child Support Agency must cost a fortune to run, and it's not spectacularly well run at that! Their computer is on the blink, probably due to dodgy dealings in the procurement office! Most of the lot in Blair's cabinet sit alongside him on the front bench looking like they're all out of ideas.

First, they should scrap the CSA. Put the penpushers to better use. Then seek an amnesty of all absentee fathers, who must, within a period, make themselves known (added to the CSA's existing lists) for assessment. In a word, a means test of actual income, not some notional arithment figure, to obtain regular payments. If a father is out of work, he pays nothing, if he regains work then he pays. Alongside this the courts get their act together to work for harmony rather than animosity. The Inland Revenue deducts the cash (which, thankfully the Government is considering)! As Philip Hammond, the Tory spokesman said of the CSA, "The problem goes right back to the assessment-processing stage, and then it is the management of the casework within the new computer system." All too true!

Today Fathers4 Justice announced it is to disband, following reports linking it to a plan to kidnap Tony Blair's son, founder member Matt O'Connor has said. Whilst the message may have been sound, the messengers were somewhat deranged, or at least a few of them were.

So the children still suffer. What a world!



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