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Child Maintenance Enforcement

Volume 455: debated on Wednesday 10 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what estimate he has made of the administrative costs of establishing the system for confiscating passports as a means of enforcing child maintenance, proposed in Sir David Henshaw’s report, ‘Recovering Child Support: Routes to Responsibilities’; (107072)

(2) what discussions he has had with other government departments and agencies on the establishment of the system for confiscating passports as a means of enforcing child maintenance, proposed in Sir David Henshaw’s report, ‘Recovering Child Support: Routes to Responsibility’;

(3) what estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) proportion of non-resident parents whose passports might be confiscated as a means of enforcing child maintenance should the proposal in Sir David Henshaw’s report be implemented.

Officials have been involved in extensive discussion with the Home Office, the Department for Constitutional Affairs and the Identity and Passport Service concerning this proposal. Officials are continuing to work with other departments to assess the costs of various options associated with this proposal.

It is intended that the surrender of passports will be applicable only in cases where the non-resident parent has wilfully failed to pay child maintenance, and where most other methods of enforcement have proven to be ineffective. Work is ongoing to estimate the number of cases where this may impact.