I haven’t really talked much about the personal effects the current government system has on me and how it penalises people particularly fathers who try and be there for their children. I want share from my own perspective, – Tuffty and Clive are great kids and I want to be around them as much as possible, so they stay with us three nights a week, and at their mums four nights – it is the closest we can get to genuine shared care. So I am in an enviable position for many fathers who have restricted or no access. The issue here however is that although I have the children for almost 50% of the time, I cannot get access to working families tax credit, or share the family allowance and still pay maintenance. Based on our family income (which working for a charity is modest) if tuffty and Clive were registered at my house or stayed here for four nights instead of three we would qualify for working families tax credit of £256 a month and get family allowance on top another £120 a month.
Now I have no issues with fathers being expected to pay maintenance or that there some poor examples of men out there who try to duck their responsibilities, but I have already had to sell one house due to the child support agency fiasco – which does not truly recognise equality, and impinged such high maintenance costs on me and didn’t take into account that in order to see my children regularly I had to make long journeys to work. What was worse was that Tuffy and Clive didn’t receive any of this money as their mum was claiming benefit.
the 10 pence tax rate was not the only issue that government did not examine the detail on.