Child Maintenance and Other Payments Bill

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 2:22 pm on 4th July 2007.

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Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 2:22 pm, 4th July 2007

Indeed, and it is a shame that it has taken so long to make some of the proposed changes. As I have said to the Secretary of State, we approve of some of the principles in the Bill, but a lot of detail still needs to be addressed.

The truth is that this Government have been bedevilled by their inability to deliver. This is not the first time that they have tried to get to grips with this problem. The Secretary of State himself referred to interim improvements made three or four years ago in an effort to sort things out. The Government have made some progress, but many of the people whom we deal with daily—I appreciate that this point applies to Members in all parts of the House—are still getting nowhere. The National Audit Office has said that overall, the vastly expensive system that has been put in place to make the CSA work has proved no more effective than its predecessor. So let us hope that the latest attempt to sort out the situation can make a difference. Given the Government's track record to date, it would hardly be surprising if people waiting for the agency and its successor to sort out their problems were frustrated again.