The Child Support Act

The Child Support Bill commenced Parliamentary passage in 1990 accompanied by much propaganda regarding so called 'absent fathers' not maintaining their children. This flagship legislation had been orchestrated by former Prime Minister Thatcher at a Tory party conference before her subsequent demise. It is strongly considered that the proposed legislation had very much to do with torpedoing the 1984 Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act which had brought about the 'clean break' in divorce settlements.

What lay behind this was a concealed agenda to have non liable persons pay the social security benefits of legal strangers. The public were hoodwinked by the picture of a large number of supposedly abandoned women with children who were dependent on benefit. That was embellished by claiming this was a burden on the taxpayer. What this really meant was that legitimate claim under Social Security law had reached such proportion that vast borrowing had to be made each year to balance the budget. A significant factor affecting a planned balanced budget, but never mentioned, is the estimated 20 billion that is paid annually to unmarried mothers and deserting wives. This represents State support and subsidy to illegitimacy and divorce, certainly not supported by the people. The single parent, aka unmarried mother, industry has grown year on year since the inclusion of this group to social security benefit some 3 decades ago. A low 3.2% illegitimate birth rate in the sixties has now mushroomed to 33% of all live births. We are told by the social science mandarins, by way of explanation, that "the world has changed", and that this is some sort of new order and we must go with the flow. THIS IS PATENT AND UNMITIGATED NONSENSE.

What has happened is that the political establishment, mainly for the vote benefit, picked up on the feminist demands of earlier times and allowed the drift away from the rules and standards that defined what society WAS and WAS NOT prepared to tolerate. This alleged new order of society was imposed on the mass of the people WHO DO NOT SUPPORT IT. A burgeoning illegitimate population has grown over the last 30 years, supported by social security. What was intended as assistance for the few who fell by the wayside in the sixties has grown into a full blown industry that guarantees housing and income support, with no questions asked, through social security. Successive governments struggled to find a way of dealing with the 20 billion financial overload, no solutions were available until former Prime Minister Thatcher came up with 'the child support solution'. The trumpeted propaganda about so called 'absent fathers' was the vanguard of a massive con on the public to try and capture their support. The right and proper thing would have been to close the door on benefit availability for those who choose to PRODUCE CHILDREN WITHOUT THE MEANS TO SUPPORT THEM. The only category for benefit eligibility should be to a two parent married couple, only this group would be considered, unless there was a properly investigated approved reason applicable to the unmarried, who could then have access to the benefit system. There is a very clear link between the low illegitimate birth rate of earlier times and the non availability of social security. It is ironic, with the advances in the last 30 years in contraception, that the illegitimate birth rate has risen. It is, therefore, very likely that qualification for benefit has had a great deal to do with the rise in the illegitimate birth rate.

Whilst the social security burden due to the unmarried mother industry has risen so it has also as a result of the divorce racket. THE UNITED KINGDOM DIVORCE RACKET, accessible via the home page, gives the background. A 400% increase in the divorce rate in the last 25 years has produced a large number of benefit claimants, year on year, who will also receive housing benefit and income support without any questions being asked.

So in 1990 the Child Support Bill made its way through Parliament. Strong warning signals were sent about the folly of this proposed legislation, NOBODY LISTENED.

The signals were of course ignored and it bothered no one that established responsibility regarding the liability to maintain was being overturned and that judicial decision regarding clean breaks at divorce, estoppel, would be set aside. The reason was that this legislation was intended to be RETROSPECTIVE, something which is very unusual with proposed legislation, but of course there was a reason for this. It is obvious that any retrospectivity must play havoc with existing related law in so much that decisions that have been reached, with regard to existing law, renders those decisions meaningless. It mattered not to those intent on legislating because, instead of dealing with the fundamental moral problem of illegitimacy, the solution was to be sought by tinkering with the financial dressing that empowered it in the first place Despite the warnings given to our politicians, the Child Support Bill passed its third reading, received Royal assent, became the Child Support Act and was implemented on the 5th April 1993. That day will live in the memories of thousands for years to come.

Early reports suggested that the Child Support Agency, the military wing, was going about its business of seeking parents who did not maintain their children. all was quiet until August 1993, when out of the blue an instruction written by the then Chief Executive, Ros Hepplewhite, and directed to all CSA principal offices was leaked to the press. Area offices were directed to TARGET FATHERS WHO WERE MAINTAINING THEIR CHILDREN. The caption soft targets began to be used to describe this newly targeted group. This change of direction exposed what many of those involved in campaign against the Bill had predicted. The prediction being that fathers who were not maintaining their children were, like the mothers, benefit claimants or were in receipt of low wages. Both these categories would either produce zero assessment by the CSA. or be the subject of a protected income check that would produce a zero assessment. So it was not a case of deliberately not maintaining their children but simply not being able to afford to. This fact would have been known to the establishment by virtue of knowledge of wage levels in general and in particular those paid to young people. Quite clearly apart from the inability of this group to pay child maintenance, repayment of benefit received by their former partners could not be extorted either. So, the August exposure of the leaked directive at long last revealed what the Child Support Act was really about and that was TO HAVE NON LIABLE PERSONS PAY BACK THE SOCIAL SECURITY OF LEGAL STRANGERS.

The rabbit was out of the hat and the anti Child Support Act movement was born. Had this true purpose been revealed to the people in 1990, the Bill would not have received any public support whatsoever. It took two to three months before the number of fathers WHO HAD BEEN MAINTAINING THEIR CHILDREN grew large enough for meetings to be held. November 1993 saw the first of these and by early 1994 the structure of support was in place to launch the campaign for the REPEAL OF THE CHILD SUPPORT ACT.

The events since that time are well known, public demonstrations took place, MPs were lobbied and local meetings held throughout the country. More recently the campaign, whilst less visible, has concentrated on direct victim contact with MPs. It is this that has ensured constant Parliamentary focus on the Act and the problems it has caused. Moles, in area offices, have volunteered their services and they let us know what is actually going on in these centres. At the time of writing 45 fathers have taken their own lives as a result of involvement with the CSA, let us not forget that these were 45 fathers who WERE maintaining their children. THEY WERE NOT ABSENT FATHERS (to use the objectionable expression), THEY WERE FATHERS LEGALLY EXCLUDED FROM THEIR CHILDREN.

The effect of Parliamentary lobbying and continual contact with MPs, by their victim constituents, has resulted in about half of them signing up to support repeal of the Child Support Act. Whilst this support is welcomed by the campaign it must beg the question why, 8 years after the Act was passed in the House of Commons, with almost total support, have half of all MPs turned against it?. The answer must be that the Bill was pushed through Parliament as a political exercise, where party majority held sway. The Bill was flawed from the outset and would never be correct because it set out to accomplish something which was not correct.

The campaign will continue until the Act is finally repealed. The Liberal Democrats, who have hosted the Parliamentary lobbies, are totally committed to repeal. Labour are about 60% against and the Tories, as would be expected, field about 5 MPs against.

IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF THE CSA THEN ENSURE YOUR MP IS AWARE OF YOUR CASE. GET YOUR MP TO TAKE UP ANY PROBLEMS YOU HAVE WITH THE CSA. FIND OUT YOUR MP's POSITION ON THE MATTER OF REPEAL. REMEMBER YOU HAVE A VOTE, LET YOUR MP KNOW YOUR POSITION IF YOUR MP DOES NOT SUPPORT REPEAL

THE ACT MUST GO