A report from the National Audit Office makes strong criticism of various aspects of the Department of Work and Pension’s (DWP) transfer to the new child maintenance system. The closure of the 1993 and 2003 child maintenance schemes is going slower than planned, and there is a risk that arrears calculated on these earlier schemes on case closure and transfer to the 2013 scheme are inaccurate due to earlier problems in administration.
Of major concern to parents who are paying maintenance is the finding that the DWP does not tell non-resident parents that it will consider lowering repayments if they cause financial hardship. They do not tell people who have arrears about this option unless asked in order to encourage payment of arrears.
A recent survey carried out by FNF UK showed that financial hardship and the unreasonable nauture of some calculations was a major problem for many of thr fathers who contact us. The failure to to allow for a hiugher income by the parent who receives maintenance and the discouragement of shared care are also major issues.
Jerry Karlin, Chair of FNF UK commented: “It is disgraceful that parents who don’t even earn enough money to pay tax or are on the minimum wage should be threatened with debt action and with the deduction of up to 40% of their net income from their wages. The threshold for making child maintenance has not been reviewed for almost 20 years. For many it’s not that they won’t pay, but simply that they can’t – you can’t get blood out of a stone.”0 likes