Child Support Agency to be axed

The Child Support Agency should be phased out and replaced with something more easy to run and understandable the Government said today after accepting reforms proposed in Sir David Henshaw's report on child support.

Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton said the CSA was not working, had a backlog of 300,000 cases and debts of £3bn with little prospect of recovery.

It will be replaced by a new "smaller, more focused" body as part of a radical reform of the maintenance system.

In his Commons statement, he said the "fundamental flaws" of the system would be addressed and that parents would be encouraged to reach their own maintenance agreements.

"Only a minority of cases handled by the CSA actually receive any maintenance at all", he said.