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Draconian New CMEC powers

25 January 2009 222 views No comments

Work and Pensions secretary James Purnell, will this week announce a new crack-down on absent parents. He intends to give officials of CMEC, which replaces the Child Support Agency, the power to ban parents from driving or travelling abroad if they do not pay child support.

Since my 3 children were taken from me 8 years ago, I have meticulously paid child support, much as it has galled me to do so. The payments are, after all, not made to my children, but to the person who took my children from me. Nevertheless, I have never missed a payment, but does that make me safe from the draconian powers which Mr Purnell is announcing? No it does not. It should be remembered why the infamous Child Support Agency was closed down. It was not because absent parents were not paying, but because the agency itself was hopelessly and irredeemably incompetent. The CMEC has taken over the staff and the systems of the CSA, and it is these same staff who are now empowered to remove our liberties.

If one of these incompetents mis-reads my file, and decides that I now owe some vast amount of money, and that I am to be banned from driving until I pay up, what can I do about it? Previously, such decisions could only be made by a judge, and I would have had a right of appeal through a judicial process, but Mr Purnell is taking that right away from me, and is leaving me at the mercy of provenly incompetent officials.

And why? What have I done to deserve this? My crime is that I am a father who loved his children, and was unfortunate enough to have a wife who tired of me. In today’s Britain, this is one of the most serious offences anyone can commit.

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