rose to move, That the draft order laid before the House on
"the register of judgments held in accordance with Section 73 of the County Courts Act 1984" with,
Much of the recent debate about the future of the Child Support Agency has focused on ensuring that it has adequate powers of enforcement. This order is merely a tidying-up exercise. It will allow the CSA's current powers to continue.
The amendment is consequential to the commencement of Section 98(1)(c) of the Courts Act 2003, which comes into force on
The purpose of Section 33(5) of the Child Support Act 1991 is to allow the Child Support Agency to register any liability orders made for the recovery of arrears of maintenance payments on the register of county court judgments as if they were county court judgments registered under Section 73 of the County Courts Act 1984. The register of county court judgments is a public register that is open to inspection by anyone, and the presence of an unpaid liability in the register may affect the registered debtor's ability to obtain employment, credit or other services.
The effect of this order will be that the CSA will continue to register its liability orders as it currently does, but they will form part of the register created under Section 98 of the Courts Act 2003; that is, the register of judgments, orders and fines. I commend the draft order to the House.
My Lords, as the Minister has just said, this order contains a consequential amendment to the repeal of Section 73 of the County Courts Act. Its effect is that the Child Support Agency will still be able to register its liability orders, but instead of forming part of the register of county court judgments, they will form part of the register of judgments, orders and fines that was established under Section 98 of the Courts Act 2003. This order is purely a consequential amendment and, as such, we support its approval by your Lordships' House.
My Lords, I am most grateful to the noble Lord for his great support, and to the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, for smiling at me across the Chamber and nodding his assent.