Children: Maintenance

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 26th July 2022.

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Photo of Alison McGovern Alison McGovern Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the current amount of unpaid payments by non-resident parents is; and what steps the Child Maintenance Service is taking to recoup outstanding monies.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Child Maintenance Service actively pursues all outstanding child maintenance using a variety of enforcement options including deductions from earnings, deductions from benefits and identifying and securing cash balances and assets through its enforcement actions. If non compliance persists then sanctions including commitment to prison or the disqualification of a driving licence and removal of passport is considered.

The Child Maintenance Service has focussed efforts to influence and enforce payment where a paying parent refuses to pay but has an ability to pay. The department has reduced its unpaid debt through the collect and pay service to an all time low of 8.3% of the total liabilities raised as at March 2022 compared to 9.9% in March 2020.

(Child Maintenance Service statistics: data to March 2022, National tables: Child Maintenance Service statistics, date to March 2022 table six).

Link attached showing the unpaid child maintenance through Collect and Pay from March 2015 to March 22 for your convenience.

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