Attempts to reform the Child Support Agency are condemned today as one of the “greatest public administration disasters of recent times” in a withering report by MPs.
Ministers are on course to spend close to £900 million on a series of reforms to the system but have failed to deliver promised improvements.
Instead, hundreds of thousands of families have been left in hardship because of the CSA’s failure to collect more than £3.5 billion in child maintenance payments from absent parents.
Alarmingly, less than a third of absent parents are making full maintenance payments under the new “reformed” system introduced in 2003, compared with half under the old one.
There is a backlog of 275,000 cases where families are waiting for a decision on maintenance payments.
CSA reform is a disaster