Sunday, 30 May 2010
26 May 2010: Category: News Posted by: Admin RFFJ
Following the Queens speech and the re-opening of Parliament, Adrian Sanders Lib-Dem MP has raised a very important Early Day Motion (EDM). The details can be found on the campaign website www.CB42.org where they are seeking support from members of the public to contact their own MP's and ask them to support this motion. With enough interest, this issue would likely get parliamentary time for a debate in the House of Commons and a push for reform.
Why is this important?
As a universal non-means tested benefit Child Benefit (CB) is available to all UK households with dependant children. The nature of the benefit is that it is ultimately intended for the child and not any individual parent or gender. The current payment system only recognises one parent as the primary carer or Parent With Care (PWC), and in an age where parental separation is not uncommon, this leads to bias and discrimination between separating parents roles, regardless of their ongoing involvement in raising their child.
The new Conservative/Lib-Dem Coalition Government has cited Freedom Fairness and Responsibility as it's key objectives, and we feel that reforming Child Benefit is one of the many areas needing change. The Government in it's recent manifesto has pledged the following:
“We will maintain the goal of ending child poverty in the UK by 2020.
We will bring forward plans to reduce the couple penalty in the tax credit system as we make savings from our welfare reform plans.
We will investigate a new approach to helping families with multiple problems.
We will encourage shared parenting from the earliest stages of pregnancy – including the promotion of a system of flexible parental leave.
We will conduct a comprehensive review of family law in order to increase the use of mediation when couples do break up, and to look at how best to provide greater access rights to non-resident parents and grandparents.”
“we have both agreed to sweeping reform of welfare, taxes and, most of all, our schools”
As part of these reforms CB42.org are campaigning for Child Benefit to be realigned to the true nature of 21st Century parenting models, and to ensure that when parents are caring for their own children, they are receiving the benefits due to them in times of need or hardship.
We do not believe that a separated or divorced parent who is supporting his or her own child equally and independently should be any less entitled to Child Benefit as a gateway to other support services as would an intact couple.
Today's system encourages the winner takes all separated parenting model where there is always a Resident Parent and a Non-Resident Parent. One labelled the Parent with Care, and the other as absent.
The Government has pledged to promote Shared Parenting at the earliest outset for couples having children. This is a bold and positive move, however the benefit system for CB, doesn’t recognise Shared Parenting or equal parental status.
There will always be a parent who can claim support and another who must legally pay support (think CSA), even if they both have equal and shared parenting roles.
The enacting of a fair and equitable universal benefit system would ensure that parents understand their joint status and responsibility to care for their own offspring. With encouragement, as we see more couples reaching shared parenting agreements upon separation or divorce, we will need to secure the same equal treatment to state services and benefits without discrimination or bias.
The only fair way to do this responsibly, is to afford both parents the freedom and entitlement of individual support on an equal basis when they need support for their own child during their own shared parental time.
Please visit http://www.cb42.org/ for more information.
Davey says; is it fair the burden should fall thus far on solely the father when so often he is deprived all other aspects of his parental responsability buy the state, unfair legislation and PAS?