Lanark MP says support system 'not fit for purpose'

Lanark and Hamilton EAst's SNP MP Angela Crawley.
Lanark and Hamilton EAst's SNP MP Angela Crawley.

Lanark and Hamilton East’s SNP MP Angela Crawley has claimed that the UK government’s new child maintenance system is failing.

She has made the allegation that 40 per cent of parents relying on the “collect and pay” scheme for maintenance are failing to get the money they are owed.

She states that the latest available figures - for the quarter to March 2018 - show that “compliance with the scheme is at 60 per cent with 8,800 parents due to pay and 5,300 paying some of due maintenance.”

She went on to say that the UK government-run Child Maintenance Service (CMS) currently place a 4 per cent fee on to any receiving parent, and charges an administration fee of £20 just to open their case.

Ms Crawley has repeatedly called for this maintenance tax to be abolished due to fears it is harmful for low-income families.

The MP said this week: “These figures highlight that the present Department of Work and Pensions system is simply not fit for purpose. For many, the Child Maintenance Service is unaffordable and it harms shared parenting arrangements.

“Time and time again we are seeing parents and families frustrated and let down by the Tories at Westminster. Ultimately, it is children who are losing out on money intended to support them under this system. It’s clear that the system is failing too many. If the UK government is unwilling or unable to fix it, it should devolve responsibility to Scotland so we can ensure families get the money owed to them.”