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Child Maintenance Written Answer, 03/03/14 [E/S/W]

Written Answer given in the House of Commons on 3 March 2014 in response to Kate Green's (Lab) question asking the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he will commence section 34 of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008; and with reference to the recommendation made by the Independent Advisory Panel on Arrears of Child Maintenance, in its 2011 report, what work his Department has done to carry out a renewed soft market sounding or sampling exercise to test the sale potential of Secretary of State and arrears only cases.

The Minister for Pensions, Steve Webb, replied that the Department's January 2013 publication, "Preparing for the future, tackling the past? Child Maintenance—Arrears and Compliance Strategy 2012 to 2017” explains within paragraph 12 of Section 3.2 “Child Support Agency: Collecting outstanding arrears”, that due to the extremely low amount which would be offered by debt companies to parents with care who were owed the arrears (around 4% of the total owed), it does not seem sensible to pursue this option at this stage. In the case of arrears owed to the Secretary of State, the Government is still exploring whether an economically viable way of selling this debt can be devised.

The Child Maintenance—Arrears and Compliance Strategy 2012 to 2017 is available on the website at the following link.

For the full answer to this and other questions see the House of Commons Hansard 3 March 2014 which is available from the UK Parliament website.

Further Information

House of Commons Hansard 3 March 2014