Children: Maintenance

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 4th February 2013.

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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 with reference to his Department's report, Estimating the impact of CSA case closure and charging, published in August 2012 and its conclusion that there will be a full annual compliance rate for direct pay arrangements of only around 28 per cent on charging to use the statutory collection once service commences, whether he plans to review his Department's method of counting the number of child maintenance cases with a positive maintenance outcome.

Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

In the report ‘Estimating the impact of CSA case closure and charging’, available here: the likely long-term percentage choosing Direct Pay is outlined in chapter 7 (pages 30-36) and compliance in the Child Maintenance Service is discussed in Annex C (pages 50-52). The report does not include a compliance estimate for cases remaining on Direct Pay in the longer term.

Using current definitions (as applied to CSA Maintenance Direct cases), Direct Pay cases will be considered compliant unless one of the parents contacts us to say that their arrangement is no longer working.

However, we are reviewing the current methodology used to derive the number of child maintenance cases with a positive maintenance outcome and it is our intention, over the coming months, to implement a revised methodology. Any change in measures will be communicated and reported in line with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

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