Bucks parents owe £2.3 million in child maintenance arrears
PARENTS in Buckinghamshire have some of the highest levels of child maintenance arrears in the UK.
There was £2.3m owed in child maintenance arrears by parents from South Bucks at the end of June, an average of £3,914 per live case, one of the highest averages in the UK.
But the amount owed is down from £2.6m in June 2015. Also 93% of parents in the area with a current liability to their children are contributing.
Nationally the number of cases with arrears at the end of the quarter has decreased from March 2016 when it was 1,127,200 and now stands at 1,059,100 in June 2016.
As part of the Government’s Welfare Reform agenda a new Child Maintenance Service (CMS) was introduced with all child maintenance cases to be governed by the same rules. This will be achieved by ending liability for cases on the previous child maintenance schemes (1993 and 2003 schemes) and inviting clients to consider making their own familybased arrangements or to apply to the CMS. Cases on the previous child maintenance schemes are due to have their child maintenance liability ended by 31 December 2017 (known as the transition period). In order to do this, the Child Support Agency (CSA) is contacting all clients to inform them that their child maintenance liability will end, and offer support to put a new arrangement in place.
There has been a big decrease in cases paying nothing; this is likely due to the closure of non-compliant cases as part of the case closure process. Cases paying nothing have decreased from 32,400 in March 2016 to 26,400 in June 2016. This is an 18.5% decrease.
The biggest proportional change in caseload status in the quarter is in the cases paying less than liability.
These have decreased from 37,900 in March 2016 to 27,100 in June 2016, this is a decrease of 28.5%
Outstanding maintenance arrears have decreased to £3,584 million in June 2016 when compared to £3,708m in March 2016.
The proportion of male to female non-resident parents in June 2016 is in line with previous quarters, with a male non-resident parent in nine out of 10 live cases.