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Child Support

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 5 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the transfer of Child Support Agency cases to the 2003 maintenance scheme; and if he will make a statement. (227686)

The new Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act sets out the new arrangements for child maintenance, driven by our commitment to extend choice and tackle child poverty.

We expect the new gross income statutory maintenance scheme to be introduced in 2011 and then all clients will be able to choose to either apply to the new gross income scheme or make a private arrangement. It is currently planned that this process will take around three years. We will therefore not be transferring cases from the original child maintenance scheme to the current scheme introduced by the reforms in 2003.

Instead from 27 October 2008 we will extend choice to all parents to allow them to agree appropriate arrangements between themselves including moving into voluntary maintenance arrangements.