Elizabeth Slams Charges for Child Maintenance Users

Elizabeth Adams has slammed the new plans for parents to be charged for using the child maintenance service.


Elizabeth Adams has called for government not to charge resident parents a fee for using the child maintenance service.

Today she said, "It is outrageous to expect resident parents to have to pay a 4% fee to get money from the other parent who should be paying for their own child anyway. Although it sounds reasonable in theory, in practise, taking another 20% off a non-resident parent for using the service will just end up with less money going towards the child."

Elizabeth also raised concerns around how the changes will affect those parents who have been through difficult splits or suffered abuse, "it is yet another layer of bureaucracy for parents to go through. For those who have suffered domestic abuse it's yet another load of hassle to go through despite their very genuine reasons for having to use such a service. There are also situations now where a victim of abuse may have to allow the perpetrator to have their bank details. For those who for safety reasons have to keep their location secure and hidden, they will have to apply for a non-geographical sort-code. It's madness to be putting yet more stress on victims and those who aren't trying to shirk their parental responsibilities."

The following information are excerpts taken from the BBC News website:

Child maintenance is financial support that helps towards a child's living costs when its parents have separated. If parents split, maintenance should be paid to the person who takes care of the child on a day-to-day basis. Under the old system many single parents used the Child Support Agency (CSA) to sort out maintenance payments, but ministers announced last year the CSA would be abolished.

Under the new rules if an amicable arrangement cannot be reached the paying parent - usually the father - will have a 20% fee added to the maintenance payment, while the receiving parent will pay 4% to get the money.

However, the chief executive of the single-parent charity Gingerbread, Fiona Weir, said she was "concerned" by the reforms.

She said: "While many parents are able to agree private child maintenance arrangements, for many other parents, this just isn't possible without government help.

"We're very concerned that closing CSA cases and bringing in charges may deter some parents from making new child maintenance agreements or pressure single parents into unstable arrangements, and children will lose out on vital support."


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