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Children Maintenance

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 22 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate his Department has made of the number of cases in each constituency being dealt with by the Child Support Agency in Scotland under the old system which will remain open when the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission’s rules are introduced. (162789)

[holding answer 13 November 2007]: The administration of the Child Support Agency is the matter for the Chief Executive. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty, dated 22 November 2007:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive.

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate his Department has made of the number of cases in each constituency being dealt with by the Child Support Agency in Scotland under the old system which will remain open when the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission’s rules are introduced. [162789]

At the end of September 2007, the Child Support Agency had 67,900 cases assessed under old rules where the non-resident parent lived in Scotland. This figure covers all cases, including those with a positive assessment as well as those currently with a nil maintenance liability. It also includes those cases where the old rules are being processed on both the old and new computer systems.

It is expected the number of old scheme cases will reduce from around 740,000 to around 300,000 before cases move into the new statutory maintenance service expected to start in 2010-11. The reason for this is predominantly the age and nature of these cases. It is also expected that a number of clients will wish to leave the statutory maintenance service and make their own arrangements following the removal of compulsion. No separate estimates have been made for Scotland or at a constituency level.

I hope you find this answer helpful.