Proposed CSA Changes – An initial response from Minister Maria Miller

A few weeks ago I wrote a response to the Green Paper on the proposals to change the CSA and start charging here

Yesterday the Minister responsible for the changes, Maria Miller – the Work & Pensions Minister was at Netmums to do a live webchat to respond to members concerns.

I had asked several of the points I raised in my post here.

She responded with the following

“Hi Jo, thank you so much for such a detailed and considered response and I look forward to reading your submission to the consultation. I can’t answer all the issues that you have raised in the time I have available today but I’d like to pick up on your point regarding domestic violence as other people have asked this question too.

We will look carefully at the responses we receive during the consultation process and I have already met the key people from Refuge to get their perspective on how we might best identify indivduals who have experienced domestic violence. This is something we need to get right across Government and I will be working with Theresa May and other ministers to make sure there is a consistent approach. We will set out our detailed proposals later in the year – we really need to get this one right.

We know that, for many parents who have suffered domestic violence, their priority is getting the right support in place for their children and the fact that they have to use the statutory system is not a choice they would have neccessarily made for themselves. They need our support and a lot of my time over the coming months will be spent looking at this issue.”

Interesting…as my initial response was, great, they are thinking this through…BUT

The domestic violence stuff is the easy stuff to come out looking good for them, and I don;t see how they can set upa  system that will be sympathetic, fair and not open for abuse.  But I will watch with interest and the positive is at least it is on their agenda (in reality and not just on paper I very much hope)

But mine was just one response – have a look over at My Shitty Twenties for other responses and comments to the chat.

I am still very concerned that because some see the face of single parents going through the CSA as the  ones that are shouting, aggressive Mothers trying to ‘screw’ money from their ex’s that we are not being taken seriously.  Too often it ends up looking like a Mothers against Fathers issue and also just shouting about how useless the CSA are.  On that Netmums thread and various other discussions I have seen it ends up being this.  Instead of highlighting the issues that the children will lose out on money, that the majority with not use the CSA unless they have tried all other avenues.

If these proposed changes do go through it will be bad news for everyone, Mothers, Fathers and most of all the children.  Lets not allow the politicians to see all the fighting, name calling and generalisations, it will make it too easy for them to just push all this through.



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