New rules boost child support cash
More absent parents than ever before are paying to support their children as a result of tough rules including taking money direct from pay packets.
The Department for Work and Pensions said nearly nine out of 10 non-resident parents within the Child Support Agency (CSA) system were now contributing towards their children.
The CSA has collected more than £1.2 billion in maintenance over the past 12 months, with £330 million of that coming from 184,090 earnings deduction orders taking the money straight from wage packets.
Child maintenance minister Steve Webb said: "When the coalition came to power in 2010, the CSA was in chaos with huge amounts of money left uncollected and simply not making its way to the children who needed it. This was fundamentally wrong.
"We've managed to turn this super-tanker around thanks to smarter processes and procedures, and tougher enforcement action against parents who refuse to recognise their responsibilities.
"Contributions towards child maintenance in the CSA are now running at an all-time high of 86.5% and I am delighted to see the number of parents who are either not paying as much as they should or nothing at all continues to fall."
The new Child Maintenance Service is being phased in as a replacement for the CSA and will mean, for the first time, parents who are able are being given help to manage their own maintenance arrangements without further state intervention.