With levels of both government and personal debt at dangerous levels, one would have thought that the Child Support Agency – a body which prides itself on bringing “financial stability” to the homes of children whose parents live apart – would do all it could to encourage parents to behave in a fiscally responsible manner.
This emphasis on fiscal responsibility does not, however, extend as the sleepy south-coast town of Poole.
Following a reassessment of the level of child support payments he must make, 49 year old father Stephen Bailey has been ordered to make an additional contribution of £300 towards his daughter’s upkeep.
While willing to make the additional payment at the earliest opportunity, Bailey lacked the sufficient funds in his current account to do so.
“No problem”, a representative of the CSA informed him, “you have £617 left on your credit card. Pay up!".
Bailey later discovered that the CSA has an established policy of using credit referencing agencies in order to delve into the financial matters of absent parents.
Nobody would argue that steps must be taken to ensure delinquent parents must pay their fair share for their children’s upbringing. What is, however, profoundly wrong is for the CSA to abuse their privileged access to personal financial data in order to bully individuals into racking up irresponsible credit card debts.
The CSA, of course, has form in this area having been criticised by a thirteen year old girl late last year for bankrupting her far-from-absent father. Read Mr Bailey’s full story on the Bournemouth Daily Echo website.