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Child Support

Volume 448: debated on Tuesday 11 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the Child Support Agency will reclaim from the Treasury monies wrongly deducted for maintenance payments from a constituent of the hon. Member for Birkenhead (reference PCU/156249/RVI/LCP, case number, 321030812331). (83038)

[holding answer 6 July 2006]: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the chief executive. He will write to my right hon. Friend.

Letter from Hilary Reynolds, dated 11 July 2006:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive. As he is currently unavailable, I am responding on his behalf.

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the Child Support Agency will reclaim from the Treasury monies wrongly deducted for maintenance payments from a constituent of the hon. Member for Birkenhead (reference PCU/156249/RVI/LCP case number 321030812331.

As details about individual cases are confidential I have written to you separately about this case.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what earnings from the Territorial Army are exempt from child support calculations; and if he will make a statement; (83236)

(2) in what circumstances a father is exempt from paying child maintenance as a result of receiving payments from the Territorial Army.

[holding answer 6 July 2006]: Members of the Territorial Army are not automatically exempt from paying child support maintenance. Child support calculations do not take account of any payment made in respect of the performance of duties as a member of the Territorial Army. Such members, in common with those who serve communities in similar occupations such as lifeboat crew or part-time firefighters, tend to undertake these activities in addition to their main occupation. Child support will take account of earnings from that main job and any other net weekly income.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what the total backlog was of all Child Support Agency cases relating to West Lancashire residents operating under the old scheme of calculation which are due to transfer to the new scheme but where the transfer has not yet taken place in each month since March 2003; (83661)

(2) what the total backlog of cases is relating to West Lancashire residents awaiting processing under the new Child Support Agency scheme calculation for each month since June 2003.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on what dates members of the child support redesign team in his Department have had meetings with individuals and organisations from outside his Department in the last 12 months. (83160)

Sir David Henshaw began his redesign work in February 2006 and is due to report back to the Secretary of State before the summer recess. During this time Sir David and his team are meeting with a variety of individuals and organisations from outside the Department. Representations made to Sir David will be detailed in his report.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will instruct the Child Support Agency to reconsider its decision not to provide child maintenance for Mrs. Lynda Gould of Buckfast on the basis that her son’s father is in the Territorial Army; and if he will make a statement. (82614)

[holding answer 4 July 2006]: The Secretary of State cannot get involved in individual cases and therefore is unable to instruct the Child Support Agency to reconsider its decision.

Members of the Territorial Army are not automatically exempt from paying child support maintenance. Child support calculations do not take account of any payment made in respect of the performance of duties as a member of the Territorial Army. Such members, in common with those who serve communities in similar occupations such as lifeboat crew or part-time firefighters, tend to undertake these activities in addition to their main occupation. Child support will take account of earnings from that main job and any other net weekly income.

We are making further investigations into how the relevant legislation should be applied in this case. The chief executive of the Child Support Agency will write to the hon. Member and his constituent once we have completed that investigation.