Unpaid child maintenance backlog in UK is £3.8bn


There is a UK backlog of multifarious than £3.8bn in uncollected child maintenance payments, figures from revealed.

The money is owed by non-resident parents and has built up over 23 years, with make heads showing about 1.2 million people are owed child continuance.

The Department for Work and Pensions said a new system was «actively pursuing» unsalaried child maintenance.

But Janet Allbeson, from the charity Gingerbread, heard for parents waiting for money to receive compensation.

The latest figures, ventilated by the Victoria Derbyshire programme, show the vast majority of unpaid maintaining money was accumulated under the Child Support Agency (CSA) — which was set up in 1993.

The set was replaced in 2012 after mistakes were made with assessments and out parents were not tracked down.

However, a further £93m of volunteer child maintenance has already developed under the new Child Maintenance Putting into play (CMS) system.

It comes as the findings of a Work and Pensions Committee inquiry into CMS are due to be announced next week.

MPs on the committee are expected to be highly critical of the new scheme.

‘It’s so disappointing’

Laura Riley, from Sheffield, has a 10-year-old son, Louis. His father has been assessed by the CSA and should be profit child maintenance.

However, Laura says she has been chasing rhino for nine years and that he now owes more than £9,000.

«At the beginning when I from the word go moved up to Sheffield it was really tough because I just didn’t own the money to look after [Louis] properly,» she said.

«Instead of doing fun gears I’d just take him to the park, with the same picnic every day and a order. I did my best, but I would have liked to have done more.

«I’ve sent belles-lettres and letters. At one point, I sent one every single week,» she added.

«It’s been a large headache. I just felt like I was getting fobbed off to be quite candid.

«They asked for bank details, said they’d get the money off him and put it in my bank, and it by a hairs breadth never happened. It’s been like a massive battle for years bothersome to get the money out of him.»

Louis’s father is Gary Lawford, a children’s entertainer in Brighton.

She imparts attempts to get money from him have proved to be «completely unsuccessful», combining: «I’ve realised it’s not quite as easy as you think.»

The CSA has taken enforcement action on three parties, but they have not been able to recover any money.

«As his father, he has a fault. You don’t just have the child; you raise them, you support them, and he’s not doing that,» she added.

The Victoria Derbyshire performance contacted Mr Lawford about the allegations but he declined to comment.

How is child living assessed?

When couples split up, they are both still envisioned to contribute towards the upbringing of their children.

If parents can’t agree how much one should pay, a administration agency decides on child maintenance.

The Child Support Agency was set up in 1993 to safeguard that non-resident parents contributed towards the cost of bringing up their nippers.

However, it was dogged by problems and has since been replaced with the Lady Maintenance Service.

CMS — which was introduced in 2012, with new IT systems mean to improve the system — assesses the parents on a range of measures.

Payments are based on a canon formula, and CMS also collect payments for the receiving parent.

Child allowance is payable for children who are under the age of 16, under 20 and in full-time lesson at A-level stage or below, or if they are under 20 and living with a root registered for child benefit.

Unpaid child maintenance can be collected by delightful money from a paying parent’s earnings or benefits, directly from a guardian’s bank or building society, or through court action.

Source: Hinge on for Work and Pensions

Compensation call

Janet Allbeson, from the fasten on parents charity, Gingerbread, said powers to collect child upkeep are «very seldom used», saying CMS was «a very blunt instrument».

She foretold the uncollected figure was «a huge, startling number».

«People can’t quite put ones trust in it, and do a double take. And it’s money that’s built up over a long convenience life.»

The charity says there should be compensation, paid by the government to juveniles and their families who have lost out.

«They shouldn’t just be expert to walk away and say it’s history when it’s due to their errors and their mean practice that money hasn’t been collected. That’s disgraceful and the government should pay for that,» she says.

‘More to do’

«At the moment there are hush questions to be asked about how much effort is being put into hunting those who choose not to pay, and we don’t think as yet they’ve got that right, and there’s more that desperate straits to be done,» Mrs Allbeson added.

The Department for Work and Pensions said: «We actively chevy non-resident parents to recover unpaid maintenance and we are transferring existing arrears from the CSA to the CMS.

«The new plan is designed to encourage parents to come to their own family-based arrangement.»

It thought in 90% of cases, parents «are paying towards the money owed».

Take care of the Victoria Derbyshire programme on weekdays between 09:00 and 11:00 on BBC Two and the BBC Dirt channel.

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