To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what assessment he has made of the impact of the European charter on the rights of the child upon the provision within the Child Support Act 1991 to name the father of the child in question; and if he will make a statement.
The European charter to which the hon. Member refers was discussed in the European Parliament on 6 and 8 July 1992, when it was forwarded to the Commission, the Council and the Council of Europe. A European Parliament resolution is not binding on the member states. The provisions of the Child Support Act 1991 meet the standards set out in the United Nations convention on the rights of the child.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has to monitor the effect of the Child Support Act 1991 on ethnic minorities.
The Child Support Act will apply in all cases where child maintenance is an issue. It will ensure that parents meet their responsibilities to their children whenever they can afford to do so and that the costs of maintaining those children does not unnecessarily fall to the taxpayer. No distinction will, or should, be made on grounds of ethnic origin.