Figures from the DWP report the CSA helped to collect and arrange payments valued at more than £1.2billion in the last twelve months (Getty) / Getty Images

Child Support Agency says that nearly nine out of ten absent parents registered with them are now contributing

The number of absent parents paying child maintenance has reached  a record high, according to new government figures.

The Child Support Agency (CSA) says that nearly nine out of ten absent parents registered with them are now making child maintenance payments.

Child maintenance is financial support which helps towards the living costs of children whose parents have separated. If parents spilt, then maintenance should be paid to the parent who looks after the child on a day to day basis.

New figures from the Department of Work and Pensions report the CSA collected 184,090 payments from wage packets and helped to collect and arrange payments valued at more than £1.2billion, in the last twelve months. This includes a total of £330 million directly taken from wage packets to help pay for children’s upbringing.

The much criticised organisation has borne the brunt of much criticism about its handling of payments since its birth in 1993.

Minister for Child Maintenance, Steve Webb claimed the turnaround of the CSA was a major triumph for the Coalition. “When the coalition came to power in 2010, the CSA was in chaos with huge amounts of money left uncollected and simply not making its way to the children who needed it.  This was fundamentally wrong. We’ve managed to turn this super-tanker around thanks to smarter processes and procedures, and tougher enforcement action against parents who refuse to recognise their responsibilities.

“Contributions towards child maintenance in the CSA are now running at an all-time high of 86.5 per cent and I am delighted to see the number of parents who are either not paying as much as they should or nothing at all continues to fall.”

Parents who refuse to pay towards the upbringing of their children can expect to face greater CSA enforcement they warned.

These could include having their employer pass on money directly from their wages, a charge against their property, visits from bailiffs or even court action.

From March, parents who refuse to pay towards their child’s upbringing may be disclosed to the credit reference agency which could potentially affect their credit rating as well as their ability to borrow money.

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