The last of the Big Six energy providers has confirmed the smallest winter price hike.
'Strip absent fathers' of benefits
There has been calls for unemployed absent fathers who refuse work experience to lose their benefits
Unemployed absent fathers who refuse to take up work experience offers should be stripped of their benefits, a report has recommended.
Policy Exchange has called for a job placement programme, similar to the controversial scheme that last month sparked accusations that young people were being forced into "slave labour", to be created for welfare claimants who do not live with their children.
Under its plans, "feckless" parents would be fast-tracked on to the compulsory scheme and forced to stick with it until the end or lose state payments.
After a wave of protests last month ministers announced youngsters would no longer be sanctioned for quitting placements.
The influential centre-right think-tank believes a mandatory programme would make it more likely claimants would leave benefits and take paid work.
Its report, Father Figures, shows that absent fathers on benefits contribute £5 a week in child benefit payments, regardless of the number of children they have with different mothers.
The study estimates there are up to 65,800 men who have been out of work for six months or longer and claims the Child Support Agency (CSA) focuses on collecting payments from working parents.
The organisation also demands that fathers are named on birth certificates. Child maintenance payments must remain in place for each child regardless of whether the parent goes on to have more children with new partners, it adds.
The report calls for single parents claiming income support to be exempted from paying a fee to use the CSA under changes being introduced by the Government, warning it will deter the poorest from chasing payments.
Report author Peter Saunders said: "Most fathers want to do all they can to help and support their children, even when they find themselves unemployed. But a minority persistently evade their responsibilities. This is unfair on their children, their former partners, other fathers who are doing the right thing, and taxpayers, who have to pick up the tab."
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I'm not naive here, I know there are some guys that are workshy because they don't want to pay for their kids but the bigger problem here is the blatent sexism by the government which gives women the ability to stop fathers seeing their children and getting away with it!
On the most part, contact & maintenance are given and paid irrespective of any other issues between the two. Some women use contact as a weapon against the father (as do some fathers use non payment of maintenance against mothers) but the former is a lot more common.
As far as absent fathers not paying their way (again there are exceptions), when women stop contact then why should they pay? It's like buying a tv between you and then her stopping you from watching it, seeing it but still expecting you to pay the license fee and paying for it's repair bills!
Stop the teaching of sex to youngsters of primary school age, and the next generation would produce a lot less of this kind of trouble.
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- Planned rise in rail fares to be reduced
- Increase in university places
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- Cap on business rates
- Tax breaks for married couples
- Free school meals for infant school children
- Loans to "unblock" housebuilding in some cities