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‘Disgraceful’ Child Support Agency scrapped

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25/07/2006

The Child Support Agency (CSA) is being axed, with absent parents threatened with curfews and suspension of their passports, according to Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton.
 
It is widely accepted that the CSA is not working, with a backlog of 300,000 cases, debts of £3bn and little chance of recovering them. A new, “smaller, more focused body” will replace it.
 
Hutton said that he wanted to “come down like a ton of bricks” on absent parents “not discharging their duties legally or morally” in supporting their children.
 
But single parent Marie Close said: “These are fine words but the reality is that I haven’t seen a penny from the father of my two children for over three years.
 
“Whenever I called the CSA I had the impression that many of the clerks didn’t know what they were talking about and none of them cared.
 
“It’s a disgracefully bad department and I only hope what replaces it is an improvement.”

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