"Corners" by Martin Davies


Just a reform idea.

Has anyone noticed how much legislation is built on the corners? That is, built to stop a few people doing something, or a few people getting out of something, or to allow something for a few people.

Just an idea, but it seems not to be too popular (or even too popular).

Over the years I've heard people moaning (quite rightly in my opinion) about the child support act.
That's the act. Change that and you change how the CSA operates, not the other way round.

For instance, not taking account of debt.
Why?
Probably because the lawmakers and law-voters had this idea that a child is more important than a new car every few years. Or more important than a holiday.
So to stop people (the few) who would increase debts in order to reduce child support, they make it so that people (the many) who do want to pay, struggle.

And bankruptcy?
Most organisations recognise that when you are bankrupt, you are no longer in control of how much money you have to spend.
The lawmakers and law-voters thought that again a few might use bankruptcy as a reason not to pay child support. So the many suffer (and it is suffering).

The new scheme goes part way to solving the problems by just ignoring things for everyone.
While it's simple, it isn't a full answer.

Those who want loads of things taken into account in any new scheme. Forget it. Or prove that it is necessary, and that you aren't just building ideas and legislation on the corners.
Those that want their own particular circumstances taken into account, how does that affect everyone else?
Those that think the real costs of a child should be taken into account, fine. Just think of childcare, on top of everything else. A half share of £150 a week might be needed. But again, prove that it is necessary and it's not just another corner.

Throw out all preconceived ideas. Any new scheme that's not just a tweak of a current (bad) scheme should be able to prove itself. If ideas can be proved to be good for the majority, then accept them.
If they can be proved to be good for only a minority, and bad for everyone else, you are using corners again.

Start afresh with ideas. Doesn't matter how silly they may seem at the time.
Not that long ago, the majority of people thought that women voting was a silly idea.
And not that long before that, the majority thought that people couldn't travel faster than a horse could run.

Examine all ideas. Look for flaws but also look for good points. One idea may lead to another. And another.

It would be helpful if somewhere there could be an archive of ideas. Both good and bad.
What may seem a bad idea at one point may lead someone to a good idea later on.

And whatever ideas are decided on - consider this.
Will the idea be seen as fair if it's applied to each parent, even turned on its head?
If it's only fair to one parent, the odds are it's not fair to the other.
And contrary to popular opinion, fair may mean higher assessments.

Above all, consider the children. All the children.