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Children: Maintenance

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 6th March 2017.

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Photo of Karen Buck Karen Buck Labour, Westminster North

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to his Answer of 14 November 2016 to Question 51999, how many referrals of those defaulting on their child maintenance liabilities have been made to credit reference agencies since March 2015.

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Department remains committed to the policy of referring those defaulting on their child maintenance payments to credit reference agencies.

Following the change in legislation in March 2015, we have been working with the credit reference agencies to put in place a process to share liability order information. In January 2017 we successfully signed a contract with Experian (one of the three main credit reference agencies) and are now working with them to develop a plan that will enable us to share information. Design work has commenced and a full delivery plan will be in place by mid-March 2017. To date no liability order information has been shared, but it continues to be the Department’s intention to do so as soon as possible.

As at 2nd March 2017 there are a total of 1,522 cases prepared and ready to share with credit reference agencies. We plan to disclose this information with credit reference agencies once a process, with the appropriate controls and safeguards, is in place. In the interim we continue to issue warning letters to prompt action by non-resident parents to settle their arrears, and will where appropriate consider other enforcement actions on these cases.

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