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CSA 'has let down families'.

WORK and Pensions Secretary John Hutton has announced it is "back to the drawing board" for the troubled Child Support Agency.

Mr Hutton's comment raised expectations that he would sound the death knell for the agency, and start the process of creating a replacement when he made a statement on its future to the House of Commons today.

But opposition parties accused him of presiding over a "farce", amid reports that the final decision on the agency's fate would be put off until the completion of a new review of child support.

Mr Hutton apologised to the thousands of mothers and children who had suffered as a result of the CSA's failure to ensure that absent parents provided financial support for their offspring.

"It has let down too many mums and it has let off too many parents who are escaping their responsibility," he said. "The CSA has not done its job and it is back to the drawing board."

The CSA has been plagued by computer problems and widespread non-payment since its establishment in 1993.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Feb 9, 2006
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