UK – Father has £108,000 taken from bank in record child support payment seizure

A father had £108,000 forcibly taken from his bank in a record child support payment seizure.
Maria Miller, the Work and Pensions Minister  Photo: REX

The man, who has not been identified, had failed to pay any maintenance for his daughter for more than 16 years.

When the Child Support Agency investigated, officials found that his account held enough money to pay everything he owed.

A similar lump sum deduction order, which compels banks to open their books to investigators, was granted in the case of a father who had failed to pay towards his child’s upkeep in London for eight years.

His bank account was identified and £20,000 taken which was given to the child’s mother.

Since 2009, over £2 million has been deducted from the bank accounts of parents who have failed to pay the child maintenance which they owe.

Last year, the courts imposed suspended prison sentences on more than 1,000 parents who refused to pay child maintenance.

However, these victories are dwarfed by the £3.7 billion still unpaid by parents and the CSA has regularly been criticised for failing in its role.

In June this year, it emerged that separated parents had to wait an average of three months before payments were processed and the CSA was accused of forcing fathers into debt.

The following month, a white, ginger–haired man was pursued by the agency for £11,500 in maintenance fees for the two black children of a woman he had never met. LINK

Such are its inefficiencies that it costs taxpayers 40p for every £1 the CSA collects in maintenance.

The CSA will be closed next year in the biggest overhaul of the system since it was set up in 1993.

Yet its successor, which is now operational, has already made repeated mistakes.

The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission demanded £10m too much from absent fathers and £14.4m too little from others in 2009-10.

Maria Miller, the Work and Pensions Minister, said: “While stories like this illustrate the astonishing irresponsibility of some parents, it is also a very poor reflection of the current system that they were ever allowed to run up debts on this scale.

“This fresh start will allow the new child maintenance service to tackle the difficult cases and bring irresponsible parents to book before their debts escalate.”


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