Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Letter: Too scared to claim benefits

IT IS true that the new CSA rules will "hit poor men the most", pushing the increasing number of people having to accept low-waged work below the poverty line of means-tested benefits ("Child support change hits poor", 30 May). Also, "absent" parents on benefit will continue to have 10 per cent deducted from what the DSS tells them is the amount "the law says" they "need to live on".

In order to save the Treasury money, the CSA will continue to concentrate on cases where the parent with care has a claim in for means-tested benefits; currently income support, family credit and disability working allowance. Indeed, unless a "single" parent on benefit can show that "harm or undue distress" will result for them or their children, they will continue to have 40 per cent of their personal allowance deducted for not co-operating with the CSA. This is why more than 100,000 women fearing contact with violent ex-partners have disappeared off benefits since the CSA was born.