New figures on the performance of the Child Support Agency (CSA) show that one in four children do not receive the child support they are entitled to.
A record £3.8 billion is owed by absent parents, with the level of debt growing by £10 million a month.
The CSA is responsible for assessing and collecting child maintenance payments when couples have split up, but the agency has been plagued with computer problems and wide-spread non-payment since it was established in 1993.
Andrew Selous, the Shadow Minister for Child Support, said, “Despite all the money spent on reforming the Child Support system, Labour are still failing to ensure that over a quarter of a million children are receiving the support they need from absent parents.”
And he stressed the need for “a change in the culture” of our child support system:
“We believe child maintenance payments would be greater if the CSA provided more practical help to parents when families break down to help establish civilised contact arrangements and distance parenting, as happens in Australia.”