CSA helps 800,000 UK children to receive financial support

June 3, 2010

Child Support Agency help has increased the amount of money being paid to single parent families in the UK over the past 12 months.

When a family separates, adults with dependent children have several options for working out maintenance payments needed from their non-resident partner. They can either come to an arrangement privately, they can pursue financial support via the courts or they can enlist the support of the Child Support Agency.

Statistics released for March 2010 have shown that, in cases where parents have asked for CSA help to determine the level of payment they are owed, the service paid more than ninety four million pounds during the first part of the year directly to the main parental carer of the children concerned. This is the highest figure in two years – more than forty thousands pounds higher than the same quarter in 2008 and even greater than the ninety two million pounds collected in the first sector of 2009.

In addition to this, CSA advice led to more than two hundred and ninety million pounds being collected in total during the same time period – meaning over 800 thousand children benefitted from child maintenance payments during the opening months of 2010.

In the cases handled by the CSA, almost half – 49 percent – of the non-resident parents ordered to contribute towards their children’s care were not in employment. A further 43 percent work for a business, whilst eight percent were self employed.

The Child Support Agency also revealed that it has received more than four million calls for advice during the past twelve months.

Comments

12 Responses to “CSA helps 800,000 UK children to receive financial support”

  1. Karen Bedford on June 4th, 2010 7:55 am

    All well and good but what about me and many others who have been on this mess of a system for years (mine 12) and still not got the money they should have so my ex (the NRP) gets away with not paying for his children properly and also fraud? Explain that one then?

  2. D McKeever on June 5th, 2010 8:25 am

    The above report states ‘CSA helps 800,000 UK CHILDREN TO RECEIVE financial support’, but then goes on to ‘explain’, not how these CHILDREN HAVE RECEIVED this financial support, but rather how ‘SINGLE PARENT FAMILIES’ or ‘MAIN PARENTAL CARERS’ HAVE RECEIVED this financial support, thus equating the collection and distribution of money from one ADULT human being to another ADULT human being with the support of CHILDREN. It is precisely this imbecilic reduction of complex human relationships to binary simplicity which defines the CSA/CMEC and underscores exactly why we are where we are with this whole scandalous abuse of public trust and public money. Not that we need trouble ourselves with the complexity of human relationships to blow the above article out of the water, because for one very important reason – legislation – the above headline can not, repeat not, repeat not be said to follow from the ‘explanation’ given in the article which is below it. It is a non-sequitur.

    Under The Child Support Act 1991, the CSA does not have the power to monitor/control/police/measure/check (add verb of choice) what happens to the money it hands over to ADULTS. The CSA has the power only to collect money from one ADULT human being and to give it over to another ADULT human being. For the above, entirely misleading, report, along with thousands of other such similar misleading ‘reports’ made over the last seventeen years by CSA apologists, to be shown to be ‘good news’ (meaning, the report of CHILD support being facilitated where non existed previously), those making them would have to prove A.) that all money collected is *NEW money, and B.) that this collected *NEW money was used, post distribution by the CSA, wholly and exclusively for the support of CHILDREN. In the absence of such proof, all else is propaganda.

    Don’t believe me? Have a laugh and ask yourself/your MP/The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions/The CSA/CMEC to answer the following four questions:-

    1. From 5 April 1993 to the present date, how much money has been collected and distributed by the CSA/CMEC?

    2. How much of the money collected and distributed over this period by the CSA/CMEC was/is *new money?

    3. How much of the money collected and distributed over this period by the CSA/CMEC has been used for the support of children?

    4. How much of the money collected and distributed over this period by the CSA/CMEC has been received by children?

    *New money defined as money which was NOT already being used for the support of children by those from whom it was collected.

  3. Craig on November 21st, 2011 8:08 pm

    Nice bit of positive propaganda for the CSA/ CMEC, what they fail to tell is that they have created poverty for the NRP and the NRP’s new family and children, they also fail to mention that they assist vindictive PWC’s who use the children as a cash cow god knows how many NRP’s have lost their homes and have been forced into financial hardship, also they have caused mental pain and suffering to the NRP. The CSA/ CMEC violate the Human Rights Act and the Fraud Act 2006 section 4. They have failed to tell about all of the suicides they are responsible for but hey they have been lifting children out of poverty. The CSA/ CMEC are vile disgusting parasites and I sincerely hope that they face the same fate as what they do to the NRP they would not like it one bit. PWC’s who use the CSA as a tool to be vindictive and use the children as a cash cow should face very harsh consequences.

  4. Craig on November 21st, 2011 9:35 pm

    They fail to tell they got that money by violating Human Rights, committing fraud causing poverty to the NRP who is already paying for the up keep of their children, abusing our servicemen, causing ill health to the NRP’s so they have to go on the sick through stress I wonder how many millions they actually cost the government with them losing tax payments and have to pay out in benefits, maybe they should actually consider going after the deadbeats who do not pay and have no intention of paying, maybe then their article blowing smoke up their own arse will not look so good then hey? I am sure they would not be so smug and cocky if the media blackout was lifted and the public were actually made aware of the truth. The public would be horrified at how the CSA/ CMEC abuse our troops / servicemen because they are easy pickings.

  5. Craig on November 22nd, 2011 8:12 pm

    CSA/ CMEC enforces thousands of NRP’s and their families in to poverty fucking idiots!

  6. D on November 23rd, 2011 7:55 am

    What about the thousand of NRP new famililes that the CMEC have put into poverty just to give to a PWC and take note alot will not work they live off the state and us the NRP. What about that poor women they put out in the streets with 5 children her first night out was in a bus stop with 5 children. What about Fleacher who lost everything all because of the CMEC, home car they lived in a car for a week and his new wife could not take no more off the greedy PWC and left him. He lasted 6 mths on the streets and killed himself 2008. What about another lady with 4 children? She had HER home took away for the so called PWC and lived in a bedsit for 18mths. POVERTY PWC they have no idea what poverty is. The PWC use children for money and to take OUR homes away putting our children on the streets. Take away the heating for years, take away all day trips for years, take away their sunday dinner. And most of all take 40% of all their money that comes into the house including the childrens as they do to us. Then they may and I mean MAY start to know what poverty is. So don’t come on here with the poor me shit I am a single mum, So was I, I was better off than we are now as a family way better off. And I can hold my head up high and say I never claimed off my ex, I never put no one in the streets and most importmant I HAVE NEVER KILLED ANYONE. Just remember Craig our day will come and we will get thousands in compensation putting famililes into poverty is illegal. And useing children as hostages for money is illegal as well. All greedy PWC need to keep watch as we as a group are showing all what poverty PWC put us into all for GREED and to get the ex back. If the father does NOT see his children than no money should be paid end of. Stop useing children. Take note not all PWC are greedy and RUN to the CSA/CMEC, If I was like that I would hang my head in shame for the rest of my life. MOVE ON GET A LIFE.

  7. Craig on November 24th, 2011 10:19 am

    Get the CSA/ CMEC to have the bad press media blackout which they have enforced removed and we shall see a very different story. Funny how they blow smoke up their own arse but no one else can get their stories of the CSA/ CMEC incompetence, bully tactics, fraud, theft and violation of human rights the public would be furious if they really knew what the CSA/ CMEC do to get the money to raise children out of poverty OMG they make me want to vomit! I thought that we were supposed to have democracy in the UK I think not we are oppressed and have a dictatorship the government know exactly how underhanded the CSA are yet they let them continue to violate human rights, because they get Millions for the government.

  8. Craig on December 2nd, 2011 7:34 pm

    Look at this – this is exactly what the scum hide from the public http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1525148/The-CSA-not-only-ended-my-fathers-life-it-ruined-mine-too.html

    The Daily Telegraph

    The CSA not only ended my father’s life, it ruined mine, too’
    By Olga Craig
    12:01AM BST 30 Jul 2006
    Stacey McKay was five when her father Jim died. Driven beyond despair by the Child Support Agency’s demands for ever increasing maintenance payments for his children, he stacked his file of correspondence from the agency neatly on his kitchen table, climbed into his loft, tied a nylon cord noose to an overhead beam and hanged himself.
    “I didn’t fully understand what had happened,” says Stacey, now 18.
    “But I understood that my father had gone away and was never coming back. I knew I wouldn’t see him again and, after all these years, I still miss him. If it wasn’t for the CSA my Dad would be alive and I wouldn’t have grown up without a father.”
    Jim McKay was not a “deadbeat dad” – one of the million or more fathers who reneged on their financial responsibility to their children and whose fecklessness the agency was set up to tackle.
    He was, in CSA parlance, an “easy win” – a responsible parent willing to pay. A painter and decorator, he had just been forced to give up work after a knee operation, but even then was continuing to pay regular maintenance for Stacey and her younger brother, James.
    Related Articles
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    24 Jul 2006
    But ever changing assessments by the agency had been pushing up his payments and, on the morning of his death, he had received one more letter, this time telling him that he must pay £30 in maintenance from his £39.90 weekly sickness benefit.
    “They expected him to live on a pittance,” says Stacey. “They put him under enormous pressure. In the end, they not only ended his life, but they ruined mine.”
    Jim McKay was not alone in his anguished response to the agency’s bullying demands.
    In the 13 years since the CSA became operational, more than 90 are thought to have committed suicide after being hounded by its agents: millions more lead impoverished and miserable lives – some because of being forced to make excessively high payments, others because the agency has failed to pursue absent parents who have left their children near-destitute.
    Mr McKay and his daughter illustrate the shameful human cost of the agency. But what of the financial cost? The agency’s spreadsheet makes scandalous reading.
    After £800 million was spent setting it up in 1993, the CSA was then “reformed” three years ago with £1billion. Last year, the agency wrote off £1billion of maintenance that it deemed “irrecoverable”.
    In its 13 years, it has identified, but failed to collect, £3.5billion in due payments. It has a backlog of 330,000 cases and, while each is theoretically supposed to take six weeks to resolve, that process now takes nine months.
    Last year alone the Department for Work and Pensions admitted that its enforcement unit spent £12million to collect just £8million. At the same time, only half of absent parents have made the exact payment deemed appropriate by the CSA, and 25 per cent pay nothing at all.
    According to a National Audit Bureau report, a quarter of all maintenance payments as estimated by the agency are too low, depriving children of £15.8million annually.
    Three years ago, when the CSA introduced a new £456million computer system to coincide with its reform, a shambles ensued. It contained 500 defects and, currently, 36,000 cases are “stuck” within it.
    In spite of this, the consultants responsible for recommending the new system have received £2.7billion in taxpayers’ money, while Electronic Data Systems, the Texan firm that installed it, has since won a £2.6billion deal with the Department for Work and Pensions, the CSA’s parent body.
    While the CSA has lurched from crisis to crisis, its annual report last year revealed that 28 staff bonuses, totalling £136,862, were dished out between 2002 and 2005. The bonuses, it transpired, were “hidden” under the category of salaries.
    It is little wonder then that, having already confessed that the agency was ‘unfit for purpose’, John Hutton, the Works and Pensions secretary, announced last week that it was being scrapped to make way for a new, more streamlined system.
    What he neglected to admit is that the agency is considered by many to be the biggest, and most costly, administrative fiasco in the history of the welfare state.
    It is hardly surprising, then, that Edward Leigh, the Conservative chairman of the public accounts committee, said that the facts “beggar belief”. “It ranks among the worst public administration scandals in modern times,” he added.
    The decision to axe the agency was taken by Mr Hutton after yet another highly critical report into the CSA this month, by Sir David Henshaw, the former chief executive of Liverpool city council.
    While the Government has announced a new body will take its place, it has been loath to admit that it is unlikely the replacement will be up and running before 2008, leaving thousands of families trapped in the current shambolic system.
    Not surprisingly, there seems little confidence that the new body will fare any better. Indeed, there are already grave concerns, once again about profligacy. To date, some £30million has been ploughed into setting up a team of private debt collectors to track down fathers who refuse to meet their financial obligations.
    Kim Fellowes, the chairman of the CSA committee of Resolutions, an organisation of 5,000 lawyers, who advised Sir David Henshaw during his review, is sceptical. “Well, it can’t be as bad as the current system,” she says, not entirely optimistically.
    “In theory, it should be better because, while its job will still be to recover maintenance from absent parents, its remit will be more narrow and thus it will be more streamlined.
    Since those on benefit will no longer be compelled to go to the agency – and at present they make up 70 per cent of cases – and couples will be urged to reach an agreement, it will deal with many fewer cases.
    My reservation is that among the new agency’s powers will be the ability to confiscate non-payers’ passports. The CSA currently has the right to take away driving licences. Yet, in the past year, it commandeered only five. There is no point in having strict sanctions if they are not used.”
    Jedda Owusu, 44, the mother of two teenagers by her former partner, knows that to her cost. It was only when she forced the CSA to use its powers that she received any money.
    Since her children’s father left 13 years ago, when Jedda junior was one and her brother, Weston, was two, Mrs Owusu has been battling for maintenance to be paid. Hers was one of those cases that the CSA finds particularly repellent: a feckless father who has avoided his responsibilities.
    “I originally asked the children’s father for £10 a week for each of them,” Mrs Owusu explains. “He said I would never see a penny, and promptly disappeared.
    I had to go to the CSA and I thought they would set a fair and just payment.
    That was stupidly over-optimistic. After endless correspondence and countless telephone calls to the CSA – always to different people, loads of them unanswered – and endless badgering from me, they set up a Deduction of Earnings order in 1993 which meant he paid up – for three months.
    Then he disappeared again. The CSA’s response was: ‘When you track him down, let us know’.”
    The CSA held to this attitude until 1997, when Mrs Owusu hired a private detective. Within 24 hours, he discovered that her former partner had never even left his job.
    He had simply gone freelance, thus ensuring any information on his whereabouts was safeguarded by the Data Protection Act. “The children and I were living in poverty by now.
    The £100 cost of the detective was money I could ill afford,” she says. Again, she telephoned the CSA, even giving the agency her former partner’s work extension number. The agency calculated that she was owed £60,000, but did nothing to try to collect it.
    After spending hours researching the law, Mrs Owusu told the CSA that it had the power to take a charging order on her former partner’s house to recover the debt.
    “Their reply was that, because they had never done that, before they would only go for £20,000,” she says. Eventually, the CSA recovered the money but then promptly dropped Mrs Owusu’s case.
    For Jedda junior, the process was deeply distressing. “It’s difficult having to accept that your Dad doesn’t want to know you,” she says. “My friends have dads, and it hurts me not to.”
    Her mother refused to give up, even though she knows that the CSA no longer wants to know. “I was too much trouble for them,” she says. “What happens is that men who are willing to pay end up being penalised for those who won’t.”
    The CSA has failed women like Mrs Owusu, but it could have all turned out so differently. In 1989, when Margaret Thatcher discovered that one million lone mothers were living on income benefit without, in 80 per cent of cases, any contribution from their former partners, she sent Tony Newton, then the social secretary, to Wisconsin to study the state’s system.
    There, Irwin Garfinkel, the man who masterminded the idea, gave him two golden rules: do not make budget savings the main aim of the policy; and do not make the system retrospective. Mr Newton ignored his advice and chaos ensued.
    Within a year of its inception, in 1994, Ros Hepplewhite, its chief executive, resigned amid abject apologies that the agency “did not reach acceptable levels”. Two years later, her successor, Ann Chant, left, admitting “failure”. In 2004, her replacement, Doug Smith, also departed, to much derision, claiming to be “seriously disappointed” by the agency’s performance.
    A year before he left, Mr Smith had introduced the agency’s new computer system. Soon afterwards, it was deemed a “chronic failure”. In its first 18 months, 88 per cent of claimants had received no payment. “The system was wildly over-complicated,” says Tony Collins, of Computer Weekly magazine.
    “Basically they built a 20-floor tower block when a five-storey building would have sufficed. It was designed so that you could not progress with a claim if even one piece of information was missing.
    Thus staff would just go on to another claim, leaving the last one in their pending tray. And the pending tray was overflowing. Frustrated with a system that wasn’t working, some began falsifying information.”
    In a 2005 report into the CSA commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions, the list of revelations was shocking. Demoralised staff – poorly paid (their average salary £12,000) and lacking the training to deal with distressed parents – balked at using such an unwieldy computer system.
    Staff revealed that they had been told to target particular claims because they were “easy to process and would look good on the statistics”. When computer-based phone systems were installed, staff directed difficult calls to answer machines or turned down the volume on the phones. A third of calls went unanswered.
    In the meantime, dozens of men were committing suicide because of the CSA’s over-zealous hounding. Most, if not all, were responsible fathers who had became overwhelmed by years of frustrating arguments with and bullying by the CSA.
    “I know how they felt, at times I have come close to killing myself,” says Martin Tyler, from Bristol. In four years, the CSA has made 27 different assessments to calculate his maintenance payments.
    Mr Tyler has a six-year old son, James, from a past relationship, and a three-year-old, Jack, with his wife, Tracey.
    Employed as an insurance salesman, his salary fluctuates. His payments for James, however, are based upon the single year in which he earned a maximum bonus.
    Even though eight of the nine grievances he has brought up with the independent complaints examiner were upheld, he was awarded a meagre £45 compensation and remains crippled by maintenance payments.
    From his £2,000 net salary a month, he must pay £900 for his first son. “I love James. I travel 400 miles to see him, often having to borrow the money to buy petrol,” he says.
    “But that leaves £1,100 a month for me, my wife, second son and Tracey’s two daughters to survive on. The girls’ father does not contribute, but the CSA refuses to take that into account.”
    Many who have bitter experience of the CSA are under no illusions that things will improve when the new body takes over. It seems that there will be little provision, once again, for chasing feckless fathers.
    Yet the agency’s remit is more important than ever. Thirteen years on, there are now 700,000 more single parents than there were in 1993.
    Unless the Government starts addressing the problem realistically, there are many, such as Jedda Owusu, who believe that thousands more children will find themselves the victims of misplaced idealism.

  9. Craig on December 14th, 2011 4:48 pm

  10. Craig on January 21st, 2012 9:21 pm

    Remember they chase after the easy targets like our servicemen. A word of warning to you CSA scum!
    I would just like to make you traitorous CSA employees aware If our troops are sent to a War Zone, if the actions of the CSA have an adverse affect on the servicemen, they are putting other servicemen and equipment at risk from the enemy, because they are unable to concentrate and do their job effectively and become a liability. In simple terms the CSA are then giving aid to an enemy of the crown. This act is a criminal offense! In the event that the police investigate this matter and it is found to be true then it will lead to people going to prison! This has been confirmed by the Minister for Justice stating that the CSA have lost ‘Crown Protection’ this will then lead to a criminal action being taken against the Case worker, and higher in the CSA. This could be treated as ‘Treason’ as this is giving aid to an enemy. I suggest that you parasites stop using and abusing our servicemen because they are easy targets you are already responsible for hundreds of suicides and many of those are servicemen. Do your jobs correctly and chase after the deadbeats not easy targets. You people make me sick! You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

    Corporal Leigh Eglon 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment murdered by the CSA http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/s/164351_csa_demands_led_to_suicide

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1525148/The-CSA-not-only-ended-my-fathers-life-it-ruined-mine-too.html

  11. Craig on January 22nd, 2012 1:11 pm
  12. chall on January 23rd, 2012 9:39 am

    Craig on January 22nd, 2012 1:11 pm
    Lifting children out of poverty????? http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/297160/Chocolate-support-agency
    _____________________________________

    Yet a further disgraceful waste of money from the public purse that’s been revealed through a freedom of information request and NOT picked up by the MP’s sitting on The Public Accounts Committee (PAC), who are are supposedly a crucial mechanism for ensuring transparency and accountability in government financial operations and who are also paid by the same public purse.

    Quote Chris Heaton-Harris MP from PAC;
    “Considering the CSA grinds every last penny out of fathers supporting their families and is the most bureaucratic and difficult agency to deal with in Government, it comes as a surprise that so much taxpayers’ money has been spent on such frivolous items.”
    What a ridiculous statement by Heaton-Harris, who’s now paid a least £65,000+ pa from the public purse. It’s MP’s that passed the legislation through Parliament that the CSA operate.

    The public purse appears to take a considerable bashing for frivolous items and has done for years from ALL angles, MP’s haven’t bee adverse to doing to same on top of their £64,000 + pa salaries, it’s not in the best interests of the public purse fund providers (Tax payers) or the UK.

    chall

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