More than a third of parents in Scarborough fail to pay child maintenance

Between April and June 32.7% of parents due to pay their ex-partners had their payments in arrears.
Between April and June 32.7% of parents due to pay their ex-partners had their payments in arrears.

More than 30% of parents in Scarborough who have their child maintenance payments controlled by the Government are failing to pay their ex-partners.

Newly released figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show that between April and June 2018, 32.7% of the 250 parents who were due to pay support through the Child Maintenance Service had their payments in arrears.

In the first quarter of the year, the figure was 36.6%.

The charity for single-parent families Gingerbread said the rate of noncompliance in Britain, about 38% of the total, is "worryingly high".

This payment service, called Collect & Pay, is part of the Child Maintenance Service (CMS), which was set up in 2012 to replace the Child Support Agency.

The CMS can take money from a parent's earnings or their bank account if they try to avoid payments, or take a parent to court.

Sumi Rabindrakumar, Research Officer at Gingerbread, said: "These figures show that the Government still needs to get to grips with unpaid child maintenance. Time and time again, parents come to Gingerbread frustrated by CMS inaction.

"This is not just about introducing more powers. The CMS must deal with cases more promptly and make better use of existing powers. With over £200 million in unpaid maintenance, the Government risks repeating the same mistakes as the old Child Support Agency. Without reform, too many children will continue to go without the support they deserve."

At the start of this year, the best performance was in the Orkney Islands, in Scotland, where only 22.7% of parents failed to pay. The poorest record was in Tandridge, the South East, where 51.7% of parents did not meet their obligations to their children.