AWOL parents to be named and shamed online

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AWOL parents to be named and shamed online

Parents who refuse to provide financial support to their children will be named and shamed on the web, the government revealed today.

The proposals contained in the new Child Maintenance and Other Payments Bill (PDF) are currently being introduced to the House. 

The Bill will scrap the widely criticised Child Support Agency and replace it with the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (PDF) which will have new powers to force parents to pay up.

John Hutton, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said: "We know that putting parents in control of their own arrangements is key to them being responsible and taking responsibility for their children.

"However there are a small number of parents who seem to think that paying for their kids is something they can simply choose not to do. It is not. And these new powers would mean that non-payment brings real and lasting penalties. "

The naming will only be carried out with the permission of the other parent and is one of a range of new powers, which include removal of funds from bank accounts, credit rating scores being amended, refusal of a passport or even a curfew being placed on the offender.

Using the internet to name and shame has had some noticeable successes. The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre has used the technique to catch sex offenders who fail to comply with release requirements.
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