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29 November 2005

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Unity

Courts have one major redeeming virtue in dealing with child support issues - each case is dealt with individually and on merit.

That's the systemic problem that lies at the heart of the CSA's failure - you cannot reduce complex human interactions into a rule book and set of formulae that can be applied across the board by a bunch of clerks.

One size does not only not fit it all but it rarely fits anyone.

Thersites

From 'CSA costs more than it recovers' http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4487202.stm

"The Child Support Agency's enforcement unit is costing more to run than it recovers from parents, it has emerged.

"The unit costs an estimated £12m a year to run, but managed to recover only £8m from absent parents last year."

and further on in the article, commenting more generally:

"Three weeks ago, the prime minister told MPs it was 'extremely difficult' to make the CSA -- an investigating, adjudicating and enforcement agency all in one -- cost-effective.

"He was responding to claims that £1 was spent by the agency on bureaucracy for every £1.85 that got through to children."

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