£3 Billion of Child Maintenance Arrears Are ‘Uncollectable’

Posted on March 30, 2017

National Audit Office reports on closure of 1993 and 2003 child maintenance schemes

The National Audit Office has published the findings of its investigation into the Department for Work and Pensions’ closure of its 1993 and 2003 child maintenance schemes.

The 2012 child maintenance scheme was introduced to resolve problems with the earlier schemes and encourage private arrangements. Since November 2013 all new applications have been made to the 2012 scheme. The Department began to tell parents in 2014 that their 1993 and 2003 scheme cases would close and that they would have to apply to the new scheme, or make their own family-based arrangements. It plans to end payments on 799,000 cases with continuing child maintenance by December 2017, and then close these cases and a further 588,000 where continuing maintenance payments are no longer due, but arrears have built up. The Department has assessed that there are around £3 billion uncollectable arrears.

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