MSP de­mands tax break for do­mes­tic abuse vic­tims

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

Clare Haughey MSP is urg­ing con­stituents to help scrap the Tory govern­ment pol­icy to tax vic­tims of do­mes­tic abuse for ex­ert­ing their right to child main­te­nance.

The mem­ber for Ruther­glen is urg­ing con­stituents to sign a pe­ti­tion that calls for the UK Govern­ment to re­move the four per cent col­lec­tion charge on child main­te­nance pay­ments that ap­plies to par­ents us­ing the ‘Col­lect-and-Pay’ ser­vice.

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. CMS have en­force­ment pow­ers to en­sure main­te­nance is paid.

The CMS ex­empt vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence from the £20 ap­pli­ca­tion fee, but do not make any ex­emp­tions from the monthly charges.

Ms Haughey is urg­ing con­stituents to go on­line and sign the pe­ti­tion at www. do­mes­ti­cabu­se­vic­tim­tax.co.uk.

She 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 Tories 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.”

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