According to The Times, the Child Support Agency is to be scrapped this summer. Do I hear cheers, or is that just people watching the World Cup?
Before anyone cheers too loudly, spare a thought for what will replace the Agency. Apparently, the idea is to encourage all separating couples (including where the parent with care is on benefits) to sort out child maintenance between themselves, following national guidelines on appropriate levels, and only involve the State where the absent parent refuses to pay the required amount. For this, a new agency will be set up and given extended tracking and enforcement powers, including access to credit details, greater use of deduction from earnings orders and inviting private debt collectors to bid for contracts to enforce payments.
Whether any such new system succeeds will obviously depend upon whether the new powers will lead to a greater level of success in forcing recalcitrant absent parents to pay.