Magazine article Public Finance

CSA to Be Replaced by Commission

Magazine article Public Finance

CSA to Be Replaced by Commission

Article excerpt

The troubled Child Support Agency will be swept away and replaced with a new body that will deliver simpler and more effective ways of collecting child maintenance, Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton said this week.

The child maintenance white paper, launched on December 13, proposes the creation of a new non-departmental public body - the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission - to be led by a commissioner.

The white paper also includes plans to encourage parents to make private maintenance agreements wherever possible, although the new body will be given tougher powers to collect debt from non-complying parents.

Hutton said: 'Our proposals to get visibly tougher on enforcement send out a clear signal that non-payment of maintenance will not be tolerated. The proposals set out the way forward for a completely new child maintenance system. They establish and enforce clear rights and responsibilities. They offer better value for money for the taxpayer. And, above all, they will deliver a system that properly meets the needs of the parents with care and children who depend on it.'

Hutton said the government would not write off the outstanding £3.5bn owing to the CSA, but the small print revealed that £800m will not be recovered. …

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