A Desperate Measure

I think it is highly significant that Professor Patrick Parkinson, the architect of the Australian child support system, "is so alarmed at Britain’s plans to overhaul the Child Support Agency that he has flown to London to voice his concern", as reported by The Times on the 19th January. According to the report his concerns include the following:
  • That child maintenance in Britain will now be seen as voluntary, so that non-resident parents can decide whether or not they want to support their children.
  • That the parent with care will end up acquiescing to the first offer made by the non-resident parent, on the grounds that at least they will get it.
  • That £40 a week will soon be regarded as the only sensible amount of money non-resident parents should pay to parents with care on benefits, as anything more will go to the state.
These all seem to me valid points, and I certainly agree with this telling quote from Professor Parkinson: "Closing down one agency and starting up another to carry out similar functions is a desperate measure by any standards". Quite.

[Thanks to Family Law Week for pointing out this article.]


  1. All these people do is talk,talk, talk, but they don't listen.And we now have another Mr Big Guns flying the globe to talk in person - no doubt taxpayers money financed the flight.

    I truly believe child support is never going to be sorted out satisfactorily.

    As for parents sorting out payments between themselves - what a joke! I predict only about 10% will. When relations break down, for whatever reason, guess where the PWC will go! C-Mess! Our politicians are deluding themselves if they think they are going to save on the privy purse.

    I also have a few issues with payments going to PWCs on IS, which I outlined in my reply to the Henshaw Report. Oh Well!

    What about the self employed? I must look into the Australian CSA about that one.

    John - Note the third comment down by the Australian guy, Mr Casey.

    Aside: It irks me our govt can find 25 billion to prop up Northern Rock, but they can't find the dosh to pay PWCs that have been waiting years on outstanding arrears. Perhaps Goldman Sachs would kindly sort that out too while they are at it?

  2. I think you've summed it up perfectly. Yes, I did see that comment about the Australian system - something I've posted about before, as you know.

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