surrounded by clouds

On appreciating the Lords.

** Warning: Political rant ahead. **

I don’t really understand the House of Lords. But I’m appreciating them a wee bit more today, since reading this article.

I recognise that my country’s financial situation is somewhat unhealthy at the moment, and I therefore understand the need for some cuts to be made, but the idea that single parents who rely on the Child Support Agency, or the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission, or whatever it is that they’re calling themselves this week, should be charged a fee for failing to sort things out themselves is, quite frankly, ludicrous.

Here are my issues:

  • The implication that people are resorting to having the CSA sort things out for them because they simply can’t be bothered to do it themselves is laughable, particularly when one bears in mind how long the CSA can actually take to do the sorting out. Why on earth would people choose that as an option, unless they really felt that they had no choice.
  • The obvious consequence to the proposed scheme is that the only ones who will have to resort to paying the CSA to actually do their job are those who cannot sort it out alone, and cannot manage without the money. The CSA was set up to chase down absent parents who refused to pay for their children, and now these are the same people who will be forced to use the service, only now they’ll be charged. So the poor and the desperate suffer. Fabulous.
  • The pitiful assurances from ‘Families Minister’ Maria Miller who stated that the poorest parents would only pay £20 up front. ‘Only £20’. As if £20 is easy to come by when you’re a single parent, bringing up children, and then may have to wait months before you actually see any money. What a joke.

Apparently, ‘the government said it would seek to overturn the defeat’.  Really? Well I hope they never stop getting defeated.

And I really must do a bit of research into how the House of Lords actually works.

In summary: little bit of a rant.

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This entry was published on January 26, 2012 at 10:40 pm. It’s filed under Seriousness and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “On appreciating the Lords.

  1. Sarah Cook on said:

    Brilliant! I couldn’t have put this better myself (in fact, I couldn’t have put it anywhere near as well myself!)

    My thinking has been along the lines of making the absent parent who should be paying the maintenance liable for the fee. The fee should be on a no-win-no-fee / cost-recovered-from-the-other-side basis. That way the CSA might do their jobs once in a while and work a little harder at getting the payments!

    Also, I’m sure the CSA make a fair amount of interest from the payments they deduct from absent parent but then delay paying to the entitled parent until weeks later!

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