31 October 2006
Will the CSA officially be allowed to write off money owed?
“ In some cases, a debt has become uncollectable because the agency, through its own inaction, has failed to take effective enforcement action. In such circumstances there would have to be proper compensation for families who otherwise stand to lose substantial sums of money they are legally owed. ”
Spokeswoman for Lone Parent Families
“ What it must not be allowed to do is use a new power to ‘clean up the system’ to get rid of lots of this debt. People have been relying on the CSA to come good and in many cases it stopped them seeking their maintenance on their own through the courts. ”
David Laws, work and pensions spokesman for the Liberal Democrats
In practice, billions have been written off. There is just too much to collect, and it is too hard.
Legally, it hasn't been written off. But there are rumours that it will be.
"The Times has learnt that ministers will change the law to authorise the Child Support Agency to write off debts where there are "limited prospects of recovery"".
"A spokeswoman for the Department for Work and Pensions said that the results of a three-month consultation on the CSA would be announced next month. However, a programme of debt recovery launched in August had already resulted in some success. She said more than 9,000 absent father had been informed that their cases would be passed to debt collection agencies if they did not pay up. Immediately 900 had come forward and agreed on a new payment arrangement. A further 4,800 cases had been referred to a debt collection agency for claims totalling £16 million"