More than half of Burnley child maintenance payments not being paid

Nearly half the parents who have their child maintenance payments controlled by the Government in Burnley are failing to pay their ex-partners.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 4th October 2018, 12:23 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th October 2018, 1:28 pm
Child Maintenance Payments
Child Maintenance Payments

Newly released figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show that around 240 parents were due to pay support through the Child Maintenance Service in Burnley between April and June 2018, but 48.1% of them had their payments in arrears.

The proportion of parents with payments in arrears in Burnley is down from 50.2% in the first quarter of 2018.

The charity for single-parent families Gingerbread said the rate of noncompliance in Britain, about 38% of the total, is “worryingly high”.

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This payment service, called Collect and Pay, is part of the Child Maintenance Service, set up in 2012 to replace the Child Support Agency.

The CMS can take money from a parent’s earnings or their bank account if they try to avoid payments, or take a parent to court.

In Burnley, 440 parents made Direct Pay arrangements from April to June 2018. At the end of June 2018, three quarters of paying parents in the CMS were using Direct Pay and a quarter the Collect and Pay Service.

Sumi Rabindrakumar, Research Officer at Gingerbread, said: "These figures show that the Government still needs to get to grips with unpaid child maintenance. Time and time again, parents come to Gingerbread frustrated by CMS inaction.

"This is not just about introducing more powers. The CMS must deal with cases more promptly and make better use of existing powers. With over £200 million in unpaid maintenance, the Government risks repeating the same mistakes as the old Child Support Agency. Without reform, too many children will continue to go without the support they deserve."