40% of parents relying on the UK government’s “collect and pay” scheme for child maintenance are failing to get the money owed – renewing calls for the service to be devolved.
Latest figures for the quarter to March 2018 show that compliance with the scheme is at 60%, with 8,800 parents due to pay and 5,300 paying some of due maintenance.
The UK government-run Child Maintenance Service (CMS) currently place a 4% fee on to any receiving parent, and charges an administration fee of £20 just to open their case.
The SNP has repeated its call for this ‘maintenance tax’ to be abolished due to fears it is harmful for low-income families.
SNP MSP Shona Robison said: “These figures highlight that the present DWP 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 are unwilling or unable to fix it, they should devolve responsibility to Scotland so we can ensure families get the money owed to them.”