Child Maintenance and Other Payments Bill

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 2:49 pm on 4th July 2007.

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Photo of Michael Clapham Michael Clapham Labour, Barnsley West and Penistone 2:49 pm, 4th July 2007

In talking about a clear break, Sir David Henshaw realised that the staff, who have worked hard—as has been recognised on both sides of the House—would continue to be used. Some of the IT systems will continue in use, but what is important is that CMEC has a role to play in advising people about consensual arrangements. Such arrangements, which will flow from the advice that CMEC gives, will considerably reduce the burden on the new organisation, which will allow it to foster a culture of efficiency, care and understanding that will result in a much improved system.

Central to CMEC will be the way in which it is able to advise people to enter into consensual arrangements. It will deal with people who previously could not enter into arrangements because of the benefits that they were drawing down. The new Bill proposes that people on benefits should be able to enter into arrangements. Some two fifths of people who receive benefit would like to enter into a consensual arrangement on maintenance with their absent partner, so we will see many more such arrangements, which will relieve the burden on the organisation. So although it will use the same IT systems and the same—experienced and hard working—staff, the new culture will ensure that the organisation can focus and deliver, in a way that the CSA did not.