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Child Maintenance

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 20th July 2011.

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Photo of Anne Begg Anne Begg Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

(1) with reference to section 20 of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008, what progress he has made in carrying out a pilot using deduction from earnings orders as the first means of collecting child maintenance; and whether a full programme of evaluation and impact assessment of such orders has been undertaken;

(2) what plans he has to implement section 20 of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 to allow use of deduction from earnings orders as a basic method of collection of child maintenance.

Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have asked the Child Maintenance Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested and I have seen the response.

Letter from Noel Shanahan

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions about the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Child Maintenance Commissioner.

; and

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans he has to implement section 20 of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 to allow use of deduction from earnings orders as a basic method of collection of child maintenance.

The Child Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No.2) Regulations 2008 introduced Deduction from Earnings Orders (DEO) as a basic means of payment of child maintenance from 27 October 2008. No piloting activity was undertaken prior to the introduction of the DEO as a standard method of payment.

Section 20 of the 2008 Act was commenced for the purposes of making regulations on 26 September 2008 and for all other purposes on 27 October 2008.

The Child Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No.2) Regulations 2008 were made consequent to the commencement of section 20 of the 2008 Act. The 2008 Regulations included DEO as a standard method of payment of child maintenance, alongside Direct Debits.

Provision is also made for a non-resident parent to make representations that there is a good reason why they should not pay via DEO. These must be considered by the Agency prior to the imposition of a DEO. The 2008 Regulations further provide that non-resident parents have a right to appeal to a court against the imposition of a DEO.

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