Children: Maintenance

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 23rd February 2015.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government why no target or key performance indicators have been set for the collection of child maintenance arrears.

Photo of Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what factors have changed since they announced in June 2010 that a target would be set for the collection of child maintenance arrears.

Photo of Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what recommendations were made by the Advisory Panel on the Arrears of Child Maintenance; and what action they took as a result of the panel’s recommendations put forward in 2011.

Photo of Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government why they did not adopt an appropriate indicator for the collection of child maintenance arrears as recommended by the Advisory Panel on the Arrears of Child Maintenance.

Photo of Lord Freud Lord Freud The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Performance indicators have been set for those aspects of child maintenance activity that are most critical to the objectives set out in the Government’s strategy on arrears published in January 2013, namely to prevent the build up of arrears in the first place and prioritise the recovery of arrears where this will benefit children today. We therefore have indicators, for example, on the clearance of cases, collections, the number of cases contributing towards current liability and the number of children benefiting. A simple indicator for the collection of arrears would not reflect the objectives of the strategy. Since 2010 we have collected almost £600 million in arrears.

The recommendations are set out on pages 20 to 34 of the Advisory Panels 2011 Report “Advisory Panel on Arrears of Child Maintenance” which can be found at: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20120716161734/http:/www.childmaintenance.org/en/pdf/advisory-panel-arrears-sep-11.pdf

In response to the report the Department published its Arrears and Compliance Strategy 2012 – 2017 – “Preparing for the future, tackling the past.” which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/214338/cm-arrears-and-compliance-strategy-2012-2017.pdf

In December 2012, the Department introduced two sections of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008; the ability to write off debt in prescribed scenarios and to accept part payment in full and final satisfaction.

We have also trialled the use of the Australian Model of arrears classification, and are considering the results to inform future action.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.