Gingerbread’s Response to Siobhan Baillie’s Child Support (Enforcement) Bill

Posted 9 December 2022

We are pleased to hear the government intends to support Siobhan Baillie’s Child Support (Enforcement) Bill, which passed its second reading in the House of Commons today. The Bill will strengthen the enforcement powers of the DWP to reclaim debts built up by non-paying parents.

Parents have a legal and moral duty to contribute financially to their child’s upbringing – whether they live with them or not, and where this money isn’t paid willingly the CMS must step in.

Research shows that 60% of single-parent families living in poverty and not receiving child maintenance would be able to escape the poverty trap if they were paid the money they’re owed. The devastating impact of the cost-of-living crisis means that this money is essential and when it is not paid, children go without and live with the disadvantage that poverty brings.

Child maintenance simply cannot be seen as optional and we welcome any increase in powers that enable the DWP to collect money owed to children. However, these powers must be used for them to be effective and to protect children from hardship.