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Child Maintenance Written Answer, 13/03/14 [E/NI/S/W]

Written Answer given in the House of Commons on 13 March 2014 in response to Kate Green's (Lab) question asking the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of cases paying 90 per cent or more of their child maintenance liability using the Child Support Agency collection service in the quarter to December 2013 were paying their child maintenance through a deduction from (a) an earnings order, (b) a regular deduction order and (c) other enforced method of payment; and  what proportion of non-resident parents who were making child maintenance arrears payments in December 2013 were making arrears payments as a result of (a) a voluntary agreement, (b) a deductions from earnings order or (c) other enforcement action.

The Minister for Pensions, Steve Webb, replied that as of December 2013, of the 337,500 cases contributing 90% or more towards their liability via the collection service, 29% of these cases had a preferred method of collection as Deduction from Earnings Order/Request. Of the 244,500 cases contributing towards arrears, 29% had a preferred method of collection recorded as Deduction from Earnings Order/Request.

A regular Deduction Order is classed as an enforcement action and these are not classed as a method of maintenance collection. Those who have paid due to enforcement action will also have a preferred method of collection recorded on the system. Consequently, it is not possible to identify those who have contributed towards their liability or arrears voluntarily and those who have contributed as a result of enforcement action.

The Agency does not hold information on the actual method of collection, but does record the non-resident parent's preferred method of collection. It is possible that maintenance is actually paid via a different method.

Enforcement information is routinely published in the Child Support Agency Quarterly Summary of Statistics.

For the full answer to this and other questions see the House of Commons Hansard 13 March 2014 which is available from the UK Parliament website.

Further Information

House of Commons Hansard 13 March 2014