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Child Support

Volume 473: debated on Thursday 13 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average length of a repayment schedule agreed with the Child Support Agency is. (185877)

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 13 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 average length of a repayment schedule agreed with the Child Support Agency is. [185877]

Robust information on the length of repayments schedules is not held centrally and to obtain it would involve additional examination of all relevant cases. The information required to answer this question cannot therefore be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost.

The Agency has introduced tougher enforcement measures through its Operational Improvement Plan, launched in April 2006. If the Agency cannot secure immediate repayment in full from the non-resident parent, it aims to reach agreements that will see arrears paid back within two years wherever possible.

The Agency collected or arranged almost £975m in maintenance in the twelve months to December 2007, of which just under £116m was arrears. Since April 2006, the Agency has collected over £181m of arrears. The Agency aims to collect over £1bn of maintenance including arrears in 2008/9.

I hope you find this answer helpful.