David Cameron wrote an article for the Sunday Telegraph, in recognition of Father’s Day. In that article he criticised fathers who didn’t support their children either emotionally or financially, adding that absent fathers would face the consequences. The PM said:
It’s high time runaway dads were stigmatised and the full force of shame was heaped upon them.
After comparing absent fathers to drink-drivers, he went on to say that single mothers do a remarkable job and shouldn’t be left to face the consequences of bringing up children alone. This has attracted criticism from many, as the article follows the prime minister’s announcement that the government propose the introduction of charges to use the services of the Child Support Agency.
David Cameron has received heavy criticism from many areas including Gingerbread, a group which acts on behalf of lone parents. The group agree with David Cameron that single parents-which includes single dads- do a fantastic job bringing up their children, but they need the help of the government to ensure they receive child maintenance in some cases. Charging to use the service would mean that a large number of parents wouldn’t have access to the CSA.
The government want to encourage parents who separate to organise their own maintenance payments. If the parents need help from the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission, who became responsible for collecting payments in 2008, they will be charged £100 in advance followed by continuing charges of between 7 and 12 percent of the maintenance payments.
According to Erin Pizzey, who founded the first women’s refuge in the United Kingdom the prime minister has shown that he doesn’t understand the reality of a family breaking up. Ms Pizzey points out that there are reasons why some fathers are absent from their kids, including the fact that some women won’t permit them to. Speaking on behalf of Only Dads, Bob Greig agreed with Ms Pizzey calling Mr Cameron’s views “simplistic”.
David Cameron has three children, the youngest being born in August 2010. The Cameron’s oldest child who was severely disabled, died in 2009.