"Child Support should be for Children" - A proposal for reform
by Barry Pearson
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Presenting the proposal

The key "selling" features of this proposal, to the media and to lobby groups, are:

1. This makes more money available to some of the poorest lone parents and children. (This is perhaps the biggest single selling point, directly in line with the government's targets for reducing child poverty).
2. This encourages separated parents to make their own arrangements, with existing safeguards for the children if they can't do so. (Consider the existing problems of coercing lone parents to identify the fathers, and the current need for benefits reductions and information offences, which will become redundant with this proposal).
3. This avoids increasing any antagonism between separated parents where this can be avoided. (This is a "win" for all parties).
4. This gives lone mothers with young children a better choice about whether to work or stay at home, depending on personal and local conditions. (It avoids any implication that the government is trying to get mothers even of extremely young children into work).
5. This takes a more positive approach to helping lone parents get back to work once their children are old enough, and once their children need such a role model. (I believe the Labour Party has itself floated this in the past).
6. This ensures there are more years for lone parents to establish themselves in a job before they are likely to be called upon to help with the costs of their children's further education.
7. This safeguards taxpayers' interests by reducing certain unnecessary payments and ensuring that a higher proportion of adults become economically active.
8. This will reduce the operating costs, and improve the likelihood of success, of the reformed CSA. (Anything that can help this is desirable! There is nothing in this proposal that would make the CSA's task harder).
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Page last updated: 13 December, 2003 © Copyright Barry Pearson 2002