Stephen McPartland MP has been given figures by Gingerbread that show a child maintenance debt mountain of £7,180,000 owed to single parents in Stevenage.
Stephen said, “Stevenage single parents received a raw deal from the last Government, as they completely failed to deal with this debt. This is a huge figure and if collected would have a big impact on the quality of life of local children. I think it is disgusting that the child support system has been allowed to fail in this way”.
Commenting on the figures, Gingerbread’s Chief Executive Fiona Weir said: “Child maintenance is vital for children in separated families. We know from single parents that this is much-needed money which pays for items such as children’s clothes, school meals, trips and activities and childcare. Ultimately the responsibility for paying child maintenance rests with the non-resident parent, but the Child Support Agency has to do its job too in collecting debts and enforcing payment. We want to help single parents caring for children take action to ensure their arrears are paid.”