Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (12th June 2012) attacked what he described as an ‘underhanded’ proposal by the Government that could ‘cause poverty for many single parents in his constituency’.
In a statement from Families Minister Maria Miller she announced that the government were seeking to end payment of Child Support for children who were subject to ‘shared care’ between separated parents.
According to press reports yesterday Maria Miller ‘believes these couples do not need a go-between that drains taxpayers’ cash, and that instead the 391,000 parents should arrange their own payments between themselves’. The Families Minister was also reported as saying “A system which by default pushes families down an expensive statutory route is not good for children, families or society.”
“This honeyed statement masks the fact that these children and their families face the prospect of a big cut in family income. The numbers are vast as it is estimated that almost a fifth of all Child Support Agency cases involve parents who share the day-to-day care of their kids. Many of these parents are not working due to child care responsibilities and many who are working will be in low paid jobs. This is yet another benefit cut, pure and simple.
“I, like all MPs, have to deal with CSA cases from constituents, and this will simply make matters far worse. What is contemptible is that this statement was quietly issued on a day where the two issues of George Osborne and Gordon Brown’s appearance at the Leveson Inquiry and the England match were going to hog the headlines. They looked for a good day to bury bad news and found one. This is truly a low and despicable government.”