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Children: Maintenance

Volume 506: debated on Friday 5 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the total value of overpayments made by the Child Support Agency was in each of the last three years. (318741)

The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have asked the Child Maintenance Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested and I have seen the response.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Child Maintenance Commissioner as the Child Support Agency is now the responsibility of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the total value of overpayments made by the Child Support Agency was in each of the last three years. (318741)

The total value of child maintenance payments overpaid to a parent with care is included in the table below. This includes figures over each of the last three financial years to January 2010.

£

April 2007 to March 2008

6,203,754.72

April 2008 to March 2009

6,510,103.73

April 2009 to January 2010

6,497,860.88

These figures are for overpayments made by non-resident parents as a result of retrospective changes of circumstances and a consequent downward valuation of maintenance assessments. These recalculations usually occur as an outcome of new information being provided to the agency.

Where an overpayment is made the money is refunded to the non-resident parent.

I hope you find this answer helpful.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the Child Support Agency's policy is on payment by credit card from individuals in arrears on their maintenance payments. (318742)

The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have asked the Child Maintenance Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested and I have seen the response.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Child Maintenance Commissioner as the Child Support Agency is now the responsibility of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the Child Support Agency's policy is on payment by credit card from individuals in arrears. [318742]

The Child Support Agency has had the facility to accept credit and debit card payments since the introduction of Regulation 3 of the Child support (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2006. This was introduced to provide access to a convenient and widely used method of payment.

The policy is to ensure the best payment agreement is reached with the non-resident parent without jeopardising the flow of regular maintenance payments. It is for the non-resident parent to determine whether it is appropriate to use a credit card to make the payments required by such an agreement.

I hope you find this answer helpful.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what advice is given by the Child Support Agency to people liable for maintenance payments on the use of credit cards to clear their arrears. (318745)

The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have asked the Child Maintenance Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested and I have seen the response.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Child Maintenance Commissioner as the Child Support Agency is now the responsibility of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what advice is given by the Child Support Agency to people liable for maintenance payments who are (a) in arrears, (b) late in making payments and (c) behind on their payment schedules on the use of credit cards to clear their arrears. [318745]

The Child Support Agency's Debt Steer states that the starting point when negotiating an arrears payment plan is to require full repayment immediately. Where this is not possible, the aim will be to reach an agreement that will achieve full recovery within, at most two years, with the discretion to accept an arrangement extending beyond this period where a client's circumstances warrant it.

In all cases involving arrears, caseworkers are instructed to discuss payment options that could be available to the client. Caseworkers do not provide financial advice, or recommend one payment option over another. Caseworkers can also signpost clients to other, independent organisations for financial help and advice where appropriate.

I hope you find this answer helpful.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many cases of absent parents in (a) Scotland and (b) Angus constituency the Child Support Agency is managing. (318801)

The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have asked the Child Maintenance Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested and I have seen the response.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Child Maintenance Commissioner as the Child Support Agency is now the responsibility of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases of absent parents in (a) Scotland and (b) Angus constituency the Child Support Agency is managing. [318801]

In December 2009, there are 112,810 live and assessed cases in Scotland and 2,170 in the parliamentary constituency of Angus. These figures include old scheme cases with a full or interim maintenance assessment as well as current scheme cases with a full maintenance calculation or default maintenance decision. Figures are adjusted to reflect those cases administered clerically.

I hope you find this answer helpful.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many cases relating to absent parents resident in Milton Keynes the Child Support Agency is managing. (319003)

The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have asked the Child Maintenance Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested and I have seen the response.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Child Maintenance Commissioner as the Child Support Agency is now the responsibility of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many cases relating to absent parents resident in Milton Keynes the Child Support Agency is managing. [319003]

Latest figures available show as at December 2009, the number of cases in Milton Keynes is 4,480. These figures include old scheme cases with a full maintenance assessment as well as current scheme cases with a full maintenance calculation or default maintenance decision. Figures are adjusted to reflect those cases administered clerically.

I hope you find this answer helpful.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many cases managed by the Child Support Agency relate to absent parents in (a) Scotland and (b) Moray constituency. (319674)

The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have asked the Child Maintenance Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested and I have seen the response.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Child Maintenance Commissioner as the Child Support Agency is now the responsibility of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases managed by the Child Support Agency relate to absent parents in (a) Scotland and (b) Moray constituency. [319674]

Latest figures show as at December 2009, the number of cases in Scotland is 111,050; of these 1,760 are in the Parliamentary Constituency of Moray. These figures include old scheme cases with a full or interim maintenance assessment as well as current scheme cases with a full maintenance calculation or default maintenance decision. Figures are adjusted to reflect those cases administered clerically.

I hope you find this answer helpful.