Child Support Agency

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 13th March 2007.

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Photo of Philip Hammond Philip Hammond Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

(1) what aggregate reduction in outstanding debt to the Child Support Agency he expects to achieve by agreed write off and revaluation of interim maintenance assessments;

(2) what process he plans to put in place and what formula he proposes to use to facilitate the revaluation of interim maintenance assessment debt proposed in the White Paper "A new system of child maintenance";

(3) whether the revaluation of interim maintenance assessments proposed in the White Paper "A new system of child maintenance" will be subject to agreement by the parent with care.

Photo of James Plaskitt James Plaskitt Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions

Given the discretionary nature of the negotiated settlements, we cannot predict the extent to which they will be used and are unable to estimate the impact on debt.

In relation to revaluation of interim maintenance assessments, I refer the hon. Member to the figures given in paragraph 5.42 of the Government's White Paper "A new system of child maintenance".

Subject to consultation, the proposed revaluation of interim maintenance assessments would be based on analysis of information held by the agency on converting interim maintenance assessments to full maintenance assessments. Conversion of punitive interim maintenance assessments almost invariably results in lower rate full maintenance assessments. The factor that we would use to revalue interim maintenance assessments would reflect the average effect of conversion and would be determined closer to the time of the revaluation.

In relation to making the revaluation subject to parent with care agreement, we would consider the detail of the process in the light of views received from the White Paper consultation.

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