Later today the Government will be publishing their response to the consultation on the Child Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2013 (“the regulations”). The regulations make amendments to the Child Support Maintenance Calculation Regulations 2012 (“the 2012 regulations”), which set out rules on the calculation of child maintenance under the new statutory scheme. The consultation on the regulations was held between 1 March 2013 and 12 April 2013.
The Government consulted on the following amendments to the 2012 regulations, which will allow the Secretary of State to: use current income information as the basis of the maintenance calculation where historic information from HMRC cannot be requested or obtained; accept a nil income figure from HMRC in order to calculate child maintenance liability (a simplification measure, as previously a nil income figure would have required action to seek current income information); and to allow previously agreed variations to child maintenance liability to be reinstated automatically in appropriate circumstances.
The aim of the regulations is to provide a faster, more accurate and transparent process for assessing child maintenance payments.
There were four responses to the consultation, which have been carefully considered. The Government maintain that the proposals outlined in the consultation represent essential preparatory work necessary to allow the new scheme of child support maintenance to be gradually opened to all new applicants.
Other amendments are made by the regulations, which were not consulted on because they did not represent changes to policy. Amendments to child maintenance regulations have been made in response to legislative changes to child benefit. These amendments clarify that parents who elect not to receive child benefit payments will be treated in the same way as those that continue to receive the payments. The regulations also make minor consequential and technical changes to other child maintenance regulations. We intend to lay the regulations later this month.
I will place a copy of the Government’s response to the consultation in the House Library later today.
The Government’s response to the consultation will also be available on the GOV.uk website later today at the following address: