40% of Welwyn Hatfield parents fail to pay government-controlled child support

PUBLISHED: 12:23 02 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:29 02 July 2018

The amount of money owed is described as

The amount of money owed is described as "worryingly high"

Archant

More than 40 per cent of parents in Welwyn Hatfield who have their child support payments controlled by the government failed to pay in the first three months of 2018.

Newly-released figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show that 170 parents were due to pay support through the Child Maintenance Service (CMS), but about 100 failed to do so.

Numbers provided by the government are rounded to the nearest ten, but the DWP says that 43.6 per cent failed to make their payments between January and March this year.

The payment service, called Collect & Pay, is part of the CMS, which can calculate the amount of child support to be paid.

Parents can then arrange the payments between themselves, but in cases where they disagree, the Collect & Pay service can manage it by taking money from a parent’s bank account if they try to avoid payments.

The charity for single-parent families, Gingerbread, said the latest figures for parents with outstanding child support debts are “worryingly high”.

Sumi Rabindrakumar, Gingerbread’s research officer, said: “Child maintenance alone lifts a fifth of low-income single parent families out of poverty.

“But sadly, we regularly hear from single parents whose children are not receiving the support they are owed even when using the Collect & Pay service.

“With £200 million child maintenance debt already built up under this specific service, excluding any debts for the many who don’t use Collect & Pay, there’s a real danger of the government repeating the failings of the previous Child Support Agency unless they act now.”

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