Angus MP Mike Weir, is calling on his constituents to sign a petition to scrap the policy on taxing victims of domestic abuse who claim child maintenance.
Currently, all parents using the ‘Collect-and-Pay’ service pay a four per cent collection charge on child maintenance payments issued through the Child Maintenance Service (CMS).
Payments made to the ‘Collect-and-Pay’ service are managed by the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) and can be removed directly from the paying parent’s bank account and they have enforcement powers to ensure maintenance is paid on time and in full.
Victims of domestic abuse are exempt from the £20 application fee but there is no concession from the monthly charges.
In response to a written question tabled by SNP MP Angela Crawley, the Conservative UK Government said the charges are in place to encourage parents to pause and consider whether they require the ‘Collect-and-Pay’ service – encouraging parents to utilise the less bureaucratic ‘Direct-Pay’ scheme.
But Mr Weir insists the ‘Direct-Pay’ service doesn’t offer the same protection as the ‘Collect-and-Pay’ system and wants people in Angus to sign an online petition at www.domesticabusevictimtax.co.uk.
He said: “Victims of domestic abuse should be protected by the UK government, not punished financially for their inability to engage with an abusive ex-partner.
“The UK Government advises victims of domestic abuse that they should utilise their less safe ‘Direct-Pay’ scheme, which has no powers of enforcement and allows continued communication through bank transfers.
“The Conservatives have shown a complete lack of compassion by introducing this charge and even worse, they actually risk putting the lives of domestic abuse victim-survivors and their children in real danger.
“The UK Government must look again at this unfair tax and listen to calls from charities, the public and MPs to scrap it – ultimately, it will be the children that child maintenance payments are intended to support who will lose out.
“I hope that many of my constituents in Angus recognise how unfair this policy is and sign the petition to end it.”