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New figures show level of child maintenance arrears

New figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions show that, in each one of the UK's 650 parliamentary constituencies, child maintenance arrears owed to parents with main care of children is now at least £1million.

Commenting on the figures, single parent charity Gingerbread’s Chief Executive, Fiona Weir said:

“These figures show the extent of non-payment of child maintenance and raise serious questions about the effectiveness of the Child Support Agency in enforcing parents’ responsibilities. We hear time and time again from single parents who feel they have been left stranded by the CSA with no information about what action, if any, is being taken to chase the money owed to their children. At a time of real economic hardship for many families, this money is badly needed and could really make a difference to children’s lives.”

Gingerbread is calling on the Child Support Agency to:

  • Make greater use of its armoury of enforcement powers, for example by further increasing the number of regular deductions from bank accounts (currently standing at just 660);
  • Give every parent owed child maintenance arrears a timetable and action plan for the steps the CSA will take to recover the maintenance owed for their child or children;
  • Keep parents owed maintenance informed, at six monthly intervals, of all enforcement steps taken during that period and the results.


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