C-MEC: An 'imminent debacle'

Thanks once more to Family Law Week, this time for pointing out this recent press release from Resolution. In it, Kim Fellowes, Chair of Resolution's Child Support Committee states that the Government’s plans to reform the Child Support Agency are an 'accident waiting to happen'. She says that "despite consulting widely on its proposals, the Government is refusing to take on board the concerns raised by many different agencies. As a result, the Government’s plans look set to continue the pattern of failure that has dogged the CSA. Worse, they look set to create a new system that will be even more unfair and ineffective than the present one". She then goes on to particularise failings with the proposed new system.

I couldn't agree more. There is nothing whatsoever in the proposals as they stand that gives me any reason for optimism - quite the contrary. Unless the Government listens, C-MEC will be no more than another re-branding exercise, in the forlorn hope that the new agency will not be tarred with the same brush as the CSA.


  1. I agree entirely. CMEC is merely a re-branded CSA (I wonder what the logo cost) with s.6 of the Child Support Act removed, and a few complications added to make the lives of the CSA staff (you think you're paid peanuts!) even more miserable.

    CMEC is based loosely (so loosely you'd never know it) on Henshaw's report, which was itself so circumscribed as to be virtually useless. That report was preceded by one by Stephen Geraghty which I have not been able to read, and as far as I know has not been released. It might make interesting reading. Then again...

  2. The CSA breaks several laws.

    The Human Rights Act 1998 states that everybody has the right to
    respect for his private and family life, plus his home and contents. A
    Bailiff breaking into your home clearly violates this.

    The Limitations Act 1980 defines a time limit of six years within
    which a creditor can chase an outstanding debt if there has been no
    contact between creditor and debtor. The CSA repeatedly ignores this.

    The Social Security Act 1986 lays down what the minimum income is that
    a person should live on. The CSA, using unrealistic formulas to
    calculate maintenance, reduces many people to an income well below
    that defined by law.

    The Magna Carta of 1215 promises all free men access to the Courts and
    a right to a fair trial. Yet the CSA can issue liability orders on
    debtors, and even commit them to prison, without their foreknowledge
    and without even serving documents.

    The Bankruptcy Act and the Enterprise Act 2003 rules that all declared
    debts owed by a person become null and void. Yet the CSA ignores this
    and continues to chase bankrupts.
    Pedophiles are protected by Human Rights legislation against 'naming
    and shaming'. Terrorists cannot be placed under 'house arrest'. Yet
    this Governments can remove the passport and driving licenses of so-
    called 'deadbeat dads', they can electronically tag them and even put
    them in prison, without even allowing them to argue their case in

  3. I'd like to see you invoke Magna Carta! :-)

  4. its still not right though john.

    on a lighter note i see that cliff richard should of won the eurovision song contest in 1968 with congratulations however a last minute spanish entrance took the title with her song la la la. this info that cliff really won has just been released. i wonder in years to come, perhaps when we are dead and buried the government of the future will admit to the catastrophe of the csa and its failings to both PWC and NRP

  5. Well, that was a close shave for Sir Cliff - who would want to be remembered for winning the annual European mediocrity contest?

    You're quite right about the CSA being a catastrophe for both PWC and NRP, but governments rarely admit their mistakes.


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