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Armed Forces: Pay

Volume 501: debated on Tuesday 24 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many deductions of earnings requests each of the armed forces received from the Child Support Agency and the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission in the last three years for which figures are available; how many requests were (a) complied with and (b) not complied with by each service; and under what circumstances a service will not comply with a deduction of earnings request. (300694)

Data are not held in a format which would identify a breakdown of the number of deductions from earnings requests. However, the total numbers received across the services since January 2007 to date are provided in the following table:


January to December 2007


January to December 2008


January 2009 to date


Deductions from earnings requests are complied with in all but exceptional circumstances. If an individual was not in receipt of pay, for example because they were absent without leave, this would prohibit compliance. In instances where a non-resident parent cannot be contacted because they are committed to operational duties, the CSA would be informed accordingly, and asked to resubmit the request in six months.

Under armed forces legislation, it is not always possible for the full amount of a deductions from earnings request to be taken from a serviceperson's salary. Under the Minimum Drawing Rate regulations, no individual can have more than 50 per cent. of their net pay deducted in respect of certain items, including deduction of earnings requests. Individuals will, nonetheless, remain liable for the amounts as ordered. Such arrears must either be cleared via private arrangements, or by continued monthly deductions from salary at the end of the period of liability.