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Child Support Agency

Volume 473: debated on Wednesday 12 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many non-resident parents registered with the Child Support Agency are living abroad; and what proportion of them were making payments to the parent with care in each of the last 10 years for which information is available. (185917)

The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the chief executive. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty, dated 12 March 2008:

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 how many non-resident parents registered with the Child Support Agency are living abroad; and what proportion of them are making payments to the parent with care in each of the last 10 years for which information is available. [185917]

The requested information is provided in the attached table.

I hope you find this answer helpful.

Number of cases where the non-resident parent is living abroad

Cases where the non-resident parent lives abroad

Percentage of cases making a payment

December 2004

9,800

18

December 2005

7,600

21

December 2006

6,700

24

December 2007

6,200

25

Notes:

1. The figures in the table show the number of cases where the non-resident parent is living abroad. This includes all cases where there is either a nil or positive assessment in place in the quarter to December.

2. The Agency’s Quarterly Summary of Statistics (table 25) sets out the number of non-resident parents that are recorded on CS2 as living abroad. These figures include all cases where the Agency is aware that the non-resident parent is living abroad.

3. The percentage of cases making a payment includes those cases where the non-resident parent is making a payment via the Agency or where a maintenance direct agreement is in place in the quarter to December.

4. The figures in the table include cases on the CS2 computer system only. No information is available on CS2 for cases where the non-resident parent was living abroad prior to 2004.

5. No information is available for cases recorded on the CSCS computer system where the non-resident parent lives abroad.

6. The table details the number of cases where the non-resident parent lives abroad. A non-resident parent may have more than one case with the Agency.

7. The figures in the table are rounded to the nearest 100.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of repayment schedules agreed with the Child Support Agency have been over (a) 10, (b) 20, (c) 30 and (d) 50. (185878)

The information requested is not available and can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether the Child Support Agency acknowledges requests from the non-resident parent for a change of circumstances review; what the target time is for completion of such a review from the date of receipt; and what the average time taken was for completion of such a review from date of receipt in the latest period for which figures are available. (183899)

The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the chief executive. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty, dated 12 March 2008:

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, whether the Child Support Agency acknowledges requests from the non-resident parent for a change of circumstances review; what the target time is for completion of such a review from the date of receipt; and what the average time taken was for completion of such a review from date of receipt in the latest period for which figures are available. [183899]

The Agency has recently begun to publish data concerning change of circumstances requests by case in Table 29 of the Child Support Agency Quarterly Summary Statistics, a copy of which is available in the House of Commons Library, or on the internet via the following link: www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/child_support/csa_quarterly_dec07.asp.

Change of circumstances requests cover a number of different areas including change of address, change of employer, changes to income, number of people living in the household and whether a parent is in receipt of benefits. Only around 10 per cent of changes of circumstances affect collection schedules. As a change of circumstance can potentially affect more than one case, and a case can have multiple changes of circumstances outstanding, the Agency records the number of requests and not cases.

The Agency does not record whether the request was generated by the non-resident parent or the parent with care.

On average the Agency receives almost 190,000 requests per month and so is unable to acknowledge receipt of a change of circumstance request.

The Agency does not currently have a published target for the time taken to clear a change of circumstance. Robust information concerning the average time taken to clear a change of circumstance is not available. However, since March 2003, 97 per cent. of the changes of circumstances requests received by the Agency have been cleared.

I hope you find this answer helpful.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the median child maintenance liability as assessed by the Child Support Agency was in each of the last 13 years. (177204)

The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the chief executive. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty, dated 12 March 2008:

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 the median child maintenance liability as assessed by the Child Support Agency was in each of the last 13 years. [177204]

The attached table shows the median positive weekly maintenance liability for the period November 1995 to December 2007. Data prior to this is not available. The overall Agency median weekly liability has decreased since 2003 as a result of the increased proportion of new scheme cases, which have lower maintenance liabilities, relative to the old scheme. There has also been an increase in the proportion of cases assessed as having no maintenance liability across both schemes. Despite the decrease in median weekly liability, the Agency collected or arranged nearly £975 million in maintenance in the twelve months to December 2007 meaning that more children in more cases now benefit from maintenance than ever before.

I hope you find this answer helpful.

Median positive weekly maintenance liability

Median positive weekly liability (£)

Proportion of nil assessed cases (percentage)

Month

Old scheme

New scheme

Overall agency

Old scheme

New scheme

Overall agency

November 1995

47.00

n/a

47.00

23

n/a

23

November 1996

44.00

n/a

44.00

32

n/a

32

November 1997

44.00

n/a

44.00

39

n/a

39

November 1998

43.00

n/a

43.00

44

n/a

44

November 1999

42.00

n/a

42.00

45

n/a

45

November 2000

41.00

n/a

41 .00

47

n/a

47

November 2001

41.00

n/a

41.00

47

n/a

47

November 2002

41.00

n/a

41.00

48

n/a

48

December 2003

42.00

27.00

40.00

50

17

48

December 2004

42.00

26.00

37.00

51

14

45

December 2005

41.00

24.00

33.00

52

16

43

December 2006

41.00

23.00

31.00

55

18

41

December 2007

41.00

25.00

30.00

58

19

40

Notes:

1. Includes all cases with a positive assessment as at end of December each year from 2003 and at end of November each year prior to this.

2. Median weekly liability is at month end for each relevant month.

3. Weekly liability rounded to the nearest £.

4. The latest available data is at December 2007. Data prior to November 1995 is not available.