Fathers failing financially may face tagging

Fathers who fail to pay maintenance for their children may be electronically tagged under reforms to the Child Support Agency, it was revealed yesterday.

Speaking in an interview with Radio 4 the work and pensions secretary John Hutton, said that he wanted to give the agency stronger powers to deal with absent fathers.

“I’m very much in favour of getting tough with people that aren’t meeting their responsibilities to their families…I want to get tougher with those dads who aren’t paying for their kids,” he said.

Hutton added that electronic tagging was one of the measures the government would be looking at in order to ensure fathers supported their children.

Last November the prime minister Tony Blair hinted that the Child Support Agency could be scrapped and split into three separate agencies in an attempt to improve its performance.

Speaking during prime minister’s Question Time, Blair said that the agency was in an “extremely difficult position” due to its different functions.
 “It is the investigating agency, then it is the adjudicating agency, and then it is the enforcement agency,” he said. “That is an extremely difficult situation, and the staff who have to work in the present system do so in conditions of very great difficulty.”

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