Now cast your minds back to the year 1993 when the Child Support Agency came into force. And this was supported by the Child Support Act of 1991. As from the 5th April 1993, absent parents were going to have to pay maintenance for their children..
Well what is wrong with that? Nothing in theory, all absent parents should be responsible for their offspring. No parent should be able to walk around this world knocking out kids, one to the dozen without taking responsibility for their actions. It is not up to the state to keep people’s children is it?
But… now here is the thing.. This child support agency which was implemented, yes you guessed it, by the bloody Tories, decided that men were going to pay and they were going to be hit hard.
The formula used by the Child Support Agency, was complicated… it never took into consideration someone’s personal situation, the formula used was used across the board without any leeway to a families personal situation. Because personal circumstances were not taken into consideration the standard of living needed for second families was simply ignored. Only certain commitments were taken into consideration.. so if you had money coming out of your wages every month for what the CSA deemed non-essential bills.. tough, they never took those debts into their calculations as to how much you would pay.
Men up and down the country, were being stung by the CSA with astronomical payments to the CSA, which were supposed to be passed onto the parent, which in some cases were not..
Second families, were the families being hit.. they were the ones suffering because of the huge payments to their previous partners. But the worst part was this.. men and women who were expected to make payments which left them nothing to support their new family, either had mental breakdowns, due to the stress or they killed themselves.
In 2006 the Telegraph reported this one suicide:
Stacey McKay was five when her father Jim died. Driven beyond despair by the Child Support Agency’s demands for ever increasing maintenance payments for his children, he stacked his file of correspondence from the agency neatly on his kitchen table, climbed into his loft, tied a nylon cord noose to an overhead beam and hanged himself.
On a website called PRLog this is written in 2009 about the suicide rate:
Somerset journalist Ross Hemsworth believes that the child Support Agency should be charged with manslaughter for being directly responsible for the suicides of 61 non resident fathers who have been harassed beyond reason by this “over-powerful agency”.
“what a joke – a load of blokes who cudnt keep their pants on and expect to get away without paying. Id pay some of them to jump off some ver tall buildings with their batman suits on – then we’ll see how man they are lol”
So that was two schemes that the Tories bought in that wasn’t fair.. the Child Support Agency and the Poll Tax.. Yes you know where the likes of councils set their own rates and every person within that borough paid the same.. If you were lucky and lived in an area with a low Poll Tax rate.. you were laughing but in some areas, the rate per person was huge. In theory the Poll Tax is a good thing… but only if everyone pays the same … irrespective of where you live… But it wasn’t.. fair.
So we have two things that were failures brought in by the Tories.. The CSA ended up with people taking their lives, and even though their have been changes there are still hard-ship cases caused by Child Support Payments. And the Poll Tax ended up with riots on our streets and led to the downfall of Margaret Thatcher, which wasn’t a bad thing really.
So do the Tories and their coalition partners ever learn?
Well it seems not.. they have not learnt from the catastrophe of the Child Support Agency and the impact it had on people’s lives and how that impact led them to suicide… Maybe there wasn’t suicides during the Poll Tax but there was gross unfairness.
Sky News today reports of the first victim of the new Bedroom Tax.
53 year old Stephanie Bottrill wrote in her final letter:
“I don’t [blame] anyone for me death expect [sic] the government.”
Mrs Bottrill lived in her £320 a month, 3 bedroom home for 18 years. She raised her son and her daughter in that home.. her memories were in that home.. that home was her life… But under the new bedroom tax rules, Mrs Bottrill had to find £20 a week out of her benefits to cover the amount deducted from her housing benefit .. due to the bedroom tax.
Her son Stephen told the Sunday People, according to Sky News the following:
“I couldn’t believe it. She said not to blame ourselves, it was the Government and what they were doing that caused her to do it.
“She was fine before this bedroom tax. It was dreamt up in London, by people living in offices and big houses. They have no idea the effect it has on people like my mum.”
Mrs Bottrill suffered with the auto-immune system deficiency, Myasthenia gravis. She needed constant medication to deal with her illness and she felt too weak to work… it wasn’t that she didn’t want to work, it was the fact that she suffered ill-health that she couldn’t work.
When you suffer from ill health, believe it is not funny… it is depressing and sometimes you get so depressed because your mind wants to do things, but your body is incapable. Illness is not something any of us can choose, we can’t choose when and if we become ill. We can’t say to illness, sorry I can’t afford for you to make me ill.. And we can’t choose what the hand of fate deals each of us. You ask any person who suffers from ill-health whether they want this illness… and they will say NO. The Tories and their coalition partners are through their policies trying to instill in people that the sick and the disabled are a drain on our welfare budget.. THEY ARE NOT… in fact it is pensions that are the biggest drain. As this chart shows, (Courtesy of FleetStreetFox’s blog post called – Benefit (n): Something advantageous)
According to Sky News, they state the following:
Sky’s Political Correspondent Sophy Ridge said: “Downing Street isn’t commenting on what it says is a personal matter but clearly this will lead to calls for the policy to be changed.
“Downing Street knows it is controversial. That’s why some amendments have been made to the policy already, saying armed services personnel and foster carers won’t be affected.
“Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has argued consistently that he thinks this policy is a fair one, but certainly I think this row is going to keep going.”
That’s it you feckin Tories and your coalition partners… put your head in the sand again.. how many more people are going to be put in such dire straights that they can’t think of any other than to commit suicide? What do you Iain (I can live on £53 a week if needed) Dopey Sod think about your bloody comments now?
The truth is either these people have to starve or go cold, should they want to stay in their own homes and not have to move. Perhaps when Maggie Thatcher decided to allow the Councils to sell off their houses, she should have in hindsight said that with every house sold, the councils will have to rebuild and create more social housing.
So for all those MP’s who have second homes.. how about staying in bed and breakfast and give up your second homes, or rent them out to people so that families can have homes.