Monday, July 24, 2006

Why not use the tax system?

I've finally read a bit more news after a busy morning at work and I see the Government has decided it's time to abolish the Child Support Agency (CSA). After nine years in power and over ten years of talking about how the CSA must be reformed (how many time has Tony told us that now over the years?), they've come to the conclusion that the only solution is abolition - or more accurately a name change with some internal policy changes too.

What's more, in true New Labour style the solution is little more than the typical headline grabbing intiatives, such as curfews designed to stop fathers going out - presumably to the pub - after work. God knows who will actually enforce these curfews given police numbers are down and PCSOs have no powers of arrest. Apparently the strategy is that the new body will be more effective at forcing parents to provide financial support.

Is it me though, or do we not have this whole system of child support upside down? Rather than an agency requesting payments - and using punitive punishment for non-payment - why don't we use the tax system and take the maintenance payments off them before they have a chance to go out and spend it? Is it really that difficult?


Anonymous said...

the people who are the 'problem dads' from the CSA's point of view are - generally - NOT the sort of men who have steady (or ANY) jobs, and whose earnings can be attached in the way you suggest.

so your plan falls heavily at the first hurdle.

and many of the dads who are still actually traceable and working are probably not earning huge amounts. so if you go after their earnings in this way, they will simply say 'f**k it' and leave the jobs to go on benefits.

women should stop having children with deadbeat fathers, then they won't wind up in this position. of course, under the Welfare State, 'that's gonna happen!'....

dizzy said...

Actually I think you're wrong on that point. The vast majorioty of people they're talking about are working fathers within the system - elese how would they be able to know what they can pay?