The CMEC press release that I posted a couple of days ago prompted some comments on the issue of child support that I didn't reply to, as I felt that they were beyond the scope of the post. However, a Commission spokesman has written to me in response to some of the points that were made:
- As to the accuracy of CSA assessments he says: "Much has improved since 2006; the Agency's latest published stats show 89.7% accuracy within £1 or 2% of the correct calculation. In any case, as I'm sure you know, all parents have the right to challenge the assessment. But you have to engage with the Agency to do that."
- As to how much of the money will benefit children, he says: "In recovering arrears through enforcement, the CSA prioritises money owed to parents with care (as opposed to 'Secretary of State' debt). I'm limited to what I can say about this particular case but it is reasonable to assume that the Agency does not embark on costly litigation that involves High Court applications unless there is a parent with care in urgent need of the money."
- "Finally, on the claim that you can be a financially responsible parent while choosing to defy the CSA ('draconian', 'unfair', etc. etc.) we can only point out that since October 2008 all parents have been free to agree to their own private maintenance arrangements if they able to, without involving the CSA - even if the parent with care is receiving income-related benefits."