Child Maintenance Service — [Sir Edward Leigh in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:47 pm on 23rd July 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 3:47 pm, 23rd July 2019

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship for the first time—and hopefully not the last, Sir Edward. I congratulate Martyn Day on securing this important debate on the Child Maintenance Service. I also thank hon. Members from both sides of the House for their contributions, which have been passionate, compelling and based largely on constituency cases. I know that, at the heart of it, everyone is driven by doing the right thing by the children involved.

I have met several hon. Members present to talk through some of the issues that their constituents have raised about the service. I have committed to making sure that we get things right first time. I also had the opportunity to hear directly from single parents during a recent visit to Gingerbread, where I heard at first hand about some of the important issues that they face.

Many points have been raised, so we have a lot to get through in a limited time. I stress that I hold regular surgery sessions, as many hon. Members present know, and I am happy to take offline any of the questions that I cannot cover in my response. I stress that I have been in post for just three months, and I would urge hon. Members across the Chamber not to underestimate my determination, while in this role, to improve the service.

I will start by setting out the Government’s approach. My Department is currently delivering a new child maintenance system, run by the Child Maintenance Service, which is designed to specifically address the shortcomings of the CSA.