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Thursday, 30 October 2014

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Millions owed in child maintenance in Barrow

IRRESPONSIBLE parents in Barrow owe more than £6m in child maintenance arrears, figures reveal.

And across Barrow, Copeland and South Lakeland the figure is more than £14m.

Officials are prepared to use tough powers to tackle parents who have failed to support their children after a separation or divorce – including taking money direct from bank accounts and even disqualifying them from driving.

The government has vowed to clamp down on the errant parents, as official statistics show outstanding payments across the North West have reached £490m.

Data from the Child Support Agency data reveals in Barrow, £6,117,500 is outstanding, more than half of which is owed to the parent who looks after the child, and the remaining to the government.

In Copeland, arrears stand at £4,918,800 with £2,946,800 owed to the parent with care while £3,541,000 is owed in Westmorland and Lonsdale, more than £2m of which is owed to the parent with care.

 

Driving disqualifications can be imposed on those who refuse to pay, the use of which has increased from five in 2008/2009 to 40 in 2011/2012. The government also plans to introduce further enforcement powers to be used against parents who refuse to pay.

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