CSA pays out £17 million compensation

As far as I can recall I've not seen this anywhere else, and I can't find it in Hansard, but the Shropshire Star reported yesterday that between April 2006 and April 2011 the Child Support Agency paid out more than £17 million in compensation to parents following delays or administrative errors. Some 64,703 “consolatory payments” were made during that period, with the average payment being £267. These figures were released in a parliamentary written answer to Liberal Democrat MP Duncan Hames.

To give an idea of the proportion of cases in which a payment has been made, I have done a very rough calculation using the latest figures, for 2010-11. In that period, some £1.8 million was paid out, with an average payment of £227. I make that about 7,900 cases. According to their figures, the CSA received some 112,800 applications during the period, from which I calculate that payments were made in about 7% of cases. (Yes, I know that there are many things wrong with this calculation, but hopefully 7% is a fair figure.) To put it another way, the CSA admitted to being at fault in roughly one in 14 cases, and that wasn't their worst year. Seems pretty high to me...


  1. I wonder how serious a delay or administrative error needs to be before it merits compensation.


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