To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the level of the Child Support Agency flat rate threshold if it had been subject to the same annual increase as benefits in each year between 2000 and 2011.
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 Susan Park
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. As the Child Maintenance Commissioner is currently away I am responding on his behalf.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will estimate the level of the Child Support Agency flat rate threshold if it had been subject to the same annual increase as benefits in each year between 2000 and 2011.
In 2003, the flat rate of £5 per week was introduced within the child maintenance scheme, payable by non-resident parents who receive any of a number of benefits, including Jobseeker's Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance.
To answer your question of the percentage increase in benefits; since April 2000 benefits such as Income Support have been increased annually by the ROSSI measure of inflation, changing to CPI inflation from April 2011. If the flat rate threshold lower and upper limits of £5 and £100 had been increased in the same way as Income Support, the lower and upper limits would have increased to £6.45 and £129.30 respectively. Similarly, the £5 flat rate deduction would have increased to £6.45.