Calderdale parents owe £15million in child support

Minister Maria Miller

Minister Maria Miller

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Separated parents in Calderdale have failed to pay over £15million in child maintenance.

New figures have revealed that parents in the Calder Valley and Halifax who don’t live with their children have failed to pay £15,123,100 in child support to those who do.

Of that figure, £8,841,000 would have gone directly to the parents who live with their children, while the rest would have gone to the Government.

The data, produced by the Child Support Agency, shows that almost £380m has not been paid in Yorkshire and Humberside since 1993.

Now the Minister in charge of the child maintenance system has promised “intensive action” against those who don’t pay.

Maria Miller, Work and Pensions Minister, said: “These shocking figures underline the long-term failure of a system that has let down countless families.

“We are now taking tougher action against those who have refused to pay.

“All parents who are still owed CSA arrears can be assured that we will take all reasonable steps to recover this money for them.”

The Government say there have been sharp increases in the use of key enforcement powers against parents who refuse to pay.

These include deduction orders, which sees money removed directly from the account of the parent who doesn’t live with the child, which have trebled across Britain since 2009.

Driving disqualifications for non-payment have risen eightfold since 2008.

Mrs Miller added: “Separated parents can avoid the conflict that often comes with CSA involvement by making their own, family-based maintenance arrangements whenever possible.

“We’ve already committed £20 million for developing better co-ordinated local support services to help them do that.

“It will help the new state child maintenance service to concentrate more effectively on parents who deliberately cheat their children out of financial support.”