A record-breaking single payment of £108,000 has been forcibly deducted from a father's bank account. The man had failed to pay any maintenance for his daughter for more than 16 years, refusing to respond to letters and calls from the Child Support Agency.


Using powers requiring banks to open up the accounts of indebted parents, investigators found enough money in a single deposit account to repay his entire debt. The amount was frozen to allow the man time to appeal and later seized.


With an estimated £3.7 billion owed in unpaid child maintenance, Ministers have signalled their determination to crack down on irresponsible parents who fail to support their children.


Work and Pensions Minister, Maria Miller, said:


“We are also fundamentally reforming the child maintenance system. The flawed rules under which the CSA operates give parents no incentive to pay up on time, still less collaborate with their child's other parent to make sure their children are properly supported.


We will introduce a fairer system, making it easier for parents to collaborate and do the best for their children. But, if parents refuse to collaborate and refuse to pay, additional charges will be added to help cover the high cost to the taxpayer of taking enforcement action.


This fresh start will allow the new child maintenance service to tackle the difficult cases and bring irresponsible parents to book before their debts escalate out of control.”