Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley has called on the UK Government to “stop putting domestic abuse survivors at risk” and scrap the 4% “tax on child support” being introduced for processing child maintenance payments.
The Child Support Agency – which processes child maintenance payments between parents – is closing down and will be replaced by the Child Maintenance Service (CMS).
Changes to how the service operates means that the parent caring for the children will either be charged a 4% collection fee (for administrative costs) for using the service or must give their bank details to the other parent directly in what is known as a “family-based” arrangement. Survivors of domestic abuse have raised concerns about the unfair charges for the new CMS as in many cases they are too frightened to establish a family-based arrangement for fear that their abuser will be able to access other personal details.
Angela Crawley MP, the SNP’s spokesperson for Children, Women and Equalities, said:
“It is all very well for the UK Government to encourage parents who have separated amicably to set up their own arrangements for paying child support but this is just not a feasible option for survivors of domestic abuse who often rely on these payments as a way of establishing a safe and independent life for themselves and their children.
“And so their only other option is to be charged a tax on child support payments that they are entitled too – the UK Government have shown a complete lack of compassion by introducing this charge and even worse, they actually risk putting the lives of domestic abuse victim-survivors and their children in real danger.
“The Government must look again at this unfair tax and listen to the cross-party calls to scrap it – ultimately, it will be the children that child maintenance payments are intended to support who will lose out.”