You say CSA, I say CMEC, we say neither are fit for purpose

The Child Support Agency was renowned for its failings over many years and never achieved any of its purported goals or objectives but became a laughing stock of ineptitude, stupidity and corruption.  It was replaced by the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (why does the government like the word ‘enforcement’ so much).

This new so-called child support agency is now being criticised because of “the level of error in maintenance assessments” and the Comptroller and Auditor General, Amyas Morse, is refusing to sign off the accounts for the CMEC are inaccurate for the past two years because of this level of error in its data.

Apparently, the agency demanded £10million too much from some fathers, to be paid to single mothers, and £14.4million too little from others.  Put aside this presumption of parental roles in that it is inevitably the father who is absent and the mother who has to cope on her own; while this might be the ‘norm’ we are aware of a multitude of cases where it is the father who is the single parent and the mother who is absent and in many instances refusing to pay – let’s get it right people; we’re talking about parenting, not about genders.

It is said that most of the problems were inherited from the CSA and that they are now being revealed due to more transparency – yeah, right.  The fact is that we have a bunch of pen-pushing civil servants spending too much time on TOIL (time off in lieu) and too little time taking an interest in their job and dealing with each case in a discriminatory fashion that creates its own problems because they treat people like morons or robots who ‘must comply’ with their wishes.

CMEC claims that £3.694billion is owed by absent parents to their children and while any parent who refuses to accept responsibility for their child or children should be sterilised so that they can’t bring any more children into the world so they can make their lives a misery, there is clearly a deep rooted level of incompetence that is not getting any better.

With hundreds of millions of pounds from the public purse being wasted on government computer systems that simply do not work, is it really right for CMEC to put the blame on ‘long-standing computer problems” – after all, many of us are familiar with the term GIGO – Garbage In, Garbage Out – if the underlying data is not correct, no amount of money spent on computers will produce valid results and when we get to the point of spending £30million to recover £3million then clearly the process is not working.

Problems may have been inherited from the CSA but how many of the incompetent civil servants working for the CSA have moved across to CMEC?  Certainly there may be technology issues but it is said that a bad workman will always blame their tools.

CMEC claims that it is continuing to improve the accounting information but clearly the Comptroller and Auditor General has not shared this view for the past two years.

If children are living in poverty and going hungry as a result of this nonsense then shame on the absent parent and shame on the civil servants who continue to collect their salary and pension while doing very little to earn the wage that could be used to feed those children – every child deserves to be loved and protected.

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