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Deduction of Earnings

Volume 455: debated on Wednesday 10 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his Department’s policy is on deduction of earnings orders when the parents concerned subsequently make voluntary child support arrangements. (107094)

If the parent with the care of the children subsequently decides to make private child support arrangements with the non-resident parent the Child Support Agency will cease acting on her behalf. In these circumstances the Agency will no longer attempt to collect ongoing maintenance but if arrears are outstanding it may decide to continue to collect them through a deduction from earnings order. However, the Agency will continue to act on behalf of a parent with care who is receiving income support or income-based Jobseeker’s allowance.

If any parent with care indicates that she wants to make her own payment arrangements with the non-resident parent, known as ‘maintenance direct’, the Agency will consider whether the proposed arrangement is more appropriate or more likely to ensure a positive maintenance outcome than a deduction from earnings order. It will also take account of any outstanding maintenance arrears.

In making a decision on whether to continue to collect ongoing maintenance or arrears through a deduction from earnings order, the Agency will take account of the welfare of any children involved, the circumstances of the non-resident parent concerned and the reason why the deduction from earnings order was initially imposed.