Angela Crawley MP is this week – Thursday 9th of February – launching a petition against what she calls a ‘cruel and callous’ tax on child support.
The campaigning MP recently wrote to the Prime Minister with the support of a number of women’s rights charities, including One Parent Family Scotland, Gingerbread and Scottish Women’s Aid, however – 6 weeks on – is yet to receive a response.
The petition calls for the Government to remove the 4% collection charge for victims of domestic abuse to allow them free access to the ‘Collect and Pay’ scheme.
Commenting, Angela said:
“We have an obligation to protect victims of domestic abuse, not punish them for refusing to engage with their ex-partner.
“The Government allege that the alternative Direct-Pay scheme is a safe-way to receive child support, without the need to engage with their ex-abuser. However, we now know that the Direct-Pay scheme has no powers of enforcement and that CMS users are moved onto the paying service if a payment isn’t made.
“The Tories are effectively taxing victims of domestic abuse for their safety and financial security. It is a cruel and callous policy and ultimately it is the children who are losing out.
“The UK Government need to take our concerns seriously. Six weeks after I, along with a number of charities and organisations, wrote to the Prime Minister highlighting our objection to the Governments plan, we are still awaiting a response.
“That is why I am launching a petition – to show that there is a real depth of feeling against this tax. These unfair charges disproportionately impact survivors of domestic abuse who feel they have no option but to use the service as they are too frightened to have a direct link to their abuser.
“It is an unworkable way to operate, it’s an immoral tax and it is time for it to be scrapped.”