Child Maintenance and Other Payments Bill

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 1:41 pm on 4th July 2007.

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Photo of Peter Hain Peter Hain The Secretary of State for Wales, The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 1:41 pm, 4th July 2007

My hon. Friend makes a reasonable point. In these situations, people on low incomes are the most vulnerable and the children are therefore doubly the most vulnerable. The CMEC will have a very important role. However, a significant proportion—I think a third—of those involved would like to make their own voluntary arrangements, but are prevented from doing so by the current structures. We want to facilitate that, but we certainly intend to guard against the situation that he describes. There is the fall-back that the commission has a statutory obligation to act in the way provided for by the Bill, and that will happen.