Single parent charity slams CSA failure to meet targets

May 24, 2010

The charity Gingerbread, which supports single parent families, has criticised the Child Support Agency help for failing to keep up with its targets for collecting child maintenance payments owed to households in the UK.

According to CSA arrears advice, the service set itself an aim of collecting one hundred and seventy million pounds owed to dependants within Britain. However, during 2009/10 the organisation only managed to recoup one hundred and forty seven million pounds.

This not only marks a shortfall in its overall target, but the child support agency help offered over the past year also fails to keep pace with its previous efforts, as it collected eleven million pounds less than the twelve months prior to that – despite tripling the number of debt enforcement staff that it employs.

Gingerbread’s Chief Executive Fiona Weir slammed the statistics, claiming that the service displays a lack of ambition and urgency in trying to claim the sums of money owed to thousands of families throughout the country.

The CSA’s failure to meet its child maintenance debt targets also follows additional powers granted to the organisation in 2008 by the government, including confiscating the passports of non-resident parents that fail to meet repayments and setting monetary penalties.

Ms Weir also criticised the new Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission, which oversees the CSA and is due to take over the responsibility for ensuring missed maintenance payments are fulfilled, for failing to set overall debt reclaiming targets for the coming year – demanding that it clears up past failures made by the CSA.