Letter: Paying for other fathers' children

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The Independent Online
Sir: Most correspondents, including Mary Campbell (1 February), seem to miss the most outrageous and sinister aspect of the Child Support Agency - its authority to force already paying absent fathers to pay for other, non-paying absent fathers.

My ex-wife currently receives pounds 137 per week in income support for herself, my two children and two children by two other absent fathers. The maintenance requirement for my two children is approximately pounds 50 per week, which I am currently paying by a previous arrangement with the DSS.

However, the CSA, under its current rules, is attempting to reassess my income and force me to pay the full pounds 137, of which my ex-wife and my children will not benefit by a single penny. My children will therefore be denied pounds 87 per week of my earnings, I will subsidise the government by pounds 87 per week, support two other children that are not related to me in any way, and support my ex-wife after a clean-break settlement]

This may sound unbelievable, but it is how the CSA is working and appears to be nothing more than a tax for being a single parent. It is also a very convenient way for the CSA to save the cost of tracing two absent fathers and still meet its recovery targets.

Yours sincerely,

PETER LAWRENCE

Thame, Oxfordshire

3 February

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