Fianna Fáil’s General Election Candidate in Clare, Cllr, Cathal Crowe has said that the ad hoc mechanism of parents making maintenance payments for their children must be overhauled.

Cllr. Crowe was commenting after surveying a number of Clare residents that are affected by the current system.

“On a near weekly basis, I am contacted by mothers who have not received their maintenance payments from the fathers of their children. These payments aren’t for luxury items; they are designed to help cover households costs such as electricity, rent, mortgage or costs associated with sending children to school.

“At present, payments must be made directly by one parent to the other. However, there is nothing really to stop them from not paying for a few weeks or making the payment late. This is incredibly unfair, and puts a significant pressure on the parent looking after the children.

“There needs to be a review of how this system is operated and managed. It’s clear that the present situation isn’t working. Personally, I would like to see payments taken at source from salaries or social protection payments. However, I am open to any system that ensures that no one is left struggling to look after their children’s needs.

“Shockingly, in the survey I carried out, it was reported that 38% never received their child maintenance payment. To my mind, this is simply unacceptable, and demonstrates that the system is not working for people.

“Mothers and fathers have a responsibly to provide their children, and we need to find a better way of processing payments and ensuring that they are paid on time,” concluded Cllr. Crowe.