Part of Orders of the Day — Child Support Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:30 pm on 22nd May 1995.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Social Security) 5:30 pm, 22nd May 1995

May I help the hon. Gentleman on that table? We were asked for a snapshot of current figures, which is what the table represents. Many of the cases that have already been cleared were the simplest to deal with. Where information comes back and someone is on benefit, it is often simple and straightforward to deal with the administration. A number of cases pending are those where there is a dispute about earnings, where the agency is seeking verification of earnings, or where the person is self-employed. If we were to take all the cases currently on the books, whether or not an assessment has been made, we would expect those figures to change. The proportion of those who are on income support is therefore greater in the assessments that have been cleared than would be expected once all the work has been done. That is why there is now an imbalance. If the hon. Gentleman were to ask for the same figures in 12 or 24 months' time, we suspect that the answers and proportions would be different.