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Children: Maintenance

Volume 468: debated on Thursday 29 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he plans to take to ensure that maintenance payments calculated by the Childrens Maintenance and Enforcement Commission are appropriate in respect of both parents, with particular reference to costs incurred for daytime care of children. (167184)

The principles of the basic maintenance formula under the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (C-MEC) will be based on the structure of the simpler formula introduced in 2003 with percentage rates based on the non-resident parent's income and number of qualifying children. The percentage rates strike the right balance between the needs of the child and the other expenses that non-resident parents have to meet.

A reduction in the amount of child maintenance otherwise payable will continue to apply where the non-resident parent shares the care of a qualifying child for 52 or more nights a year. The Government have no plans to take account of daytime care. Childcare costs incurred by a working parent are recognised in housing benefit, council tax benefit and working tax credit.