I’m calling on the Ministry of Justice to get its act together in light of the revelation of ridiculously long waiting times for Child Maintenance Service (CMS) appeals in Wales.
Statistics disclosed in response to written questions I tabled show that the average waiting time for a CMS appeal to be administered in Wales from July-September 2019 was 46 weeks – six weeks more than the average across England and Wales.
It’s absurd that parents in Wales are now waiting for the best part of a year to find out the outcome of their Child Maintenance Service appeal. In the local court serving my constituents in Newport East people are now waiting a staggering 38 weeks for their appeals to be administered, and in other parts of Wales this figure skyrockets to 59 weeks.
There is a human as well as a significant financial cost to these long waits for the mothers and father involved. Constituents have told me that living through this prolonged uncertainty has caused huge distress and impacted on their mental health, as well as causing a complete deterioration of already-strained relationships between former partners – with the child or children in question ultimately paying the price for this. As things stand, the delays to the process are making a bad situation much worse for all involved – we need the Ministry of Justice to get its act together and fix this failing system.