A complaint from a local constituent owed tens of thousands of pounds by the Child Support Agency has shown up the Government’s total failure in resolving complaints – taking an average of 53 weeks to consider them.
Stockton North Labour MP, Alex Cunningham, submitted a number of Parliamentary questions regarding the time it takes for the Independent Case Examiner (ICE) to process their complaint about the Child Support Agency.
The answers show that a total of 265 Child Support Agency complaint cases took longer than 12 months to be resolved, according to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Work and Pensions. They also show that just 49 cases had taken less than six months, 11 cases between six and nine months, with 76 cases taking between nine and twelve months to be resolved.
Alex submitted the questions after a local constituent got in touch regarding his complaint and the length of time it was taking the ICE to deal with his complaint. He had paid £90,000 over a five year period and discovered he has overpaid £43,000. He was then told that the CSA would refund the cash within six weeks only to be given an offer of less than half that. He took his case to appeal but there is no sign of the matter being dealt with soon.
Speaking on this matter, Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham said:
“These people may have been in the system for a considerable time before even reaching the complaints side, and for the complaint alone taking over a year is a disgrace. There clearly are not enough resources for the government to cope, which demonstrates that they simply do not care about the circumstances of potentially vulnerable people, and the difficulties that they are facing.
“Those that are having to wait the longest are most likely to have complex cases that need urgent attention but the Government’s own statistics show they are letting people like my constituent down. I hope the government will now acknowledge that this is a huge failure, and the service it is providing is not good enough.”
For more information please contact Alex Cunningham on 01642 345291.