However, a representative of the CSA has confirmed to me today that ALL existing CSA cases are going to be closed.
She advised me that this process has commenced and that within the next six months to two years ALL cases with the CSA will be closed and anyone wishing to use the service will have to reapply to the CMS (Child Maintenance Service), for which there will be fees.
It has rules, like Fight Club, the first rule of the Child Maintenance Service is that you must talk to the Child Maintenance Service before you can talk to the Child Maintenance Service…
There will be a £20 fee to apply to the CMS and then there will be a deduction of 4% from the maintenance paid to the person receiving the payment and there will be a 20% fee charged to the person making the payment.
So a little example for you – if the person making the payment has 2 children and therefore pays 20% of their salary, they will then pay and extra 20% of that amount in fees to the CMS. If that person is already in arrears, the CMS will endeavour to capture those arrears as quickly as possible, often increase the amount taken by a further 20% – leaving the person making the payment with virtually none of their salary!
I queried this with her and she said it is meant to encourage people to make family arrangements rather than use the service. That’s fine, except that most people using the service do so because the absent parent refuses to pay and is often out of contact entirely. So this system will penalise those who actually need it most.
This is utter madness.
Below is a list of what this new service will do for its money. Yes, it is exactly what the CSA does now.
For further information please see this article by Gingerbread.
Or visit the Government information page here.