Posts Tagged ‘CMEC-CSA’

Child Maintenance oral evidence to Work and Pensions Committee

09/06/2011

Work and Pensions Committee

Select Committee Announcement

09 June 2011

For Immediate Release: AN42 2010–12

ORAL EVIDENCE

Child Maintenance

——————————————————————————–

Wednesday 15 June 2011, Grimond Room, Portcullis House at 9.45am

Maria Miller MP, Minister for Disabled People, Department for Work and Pensions

Dame Janet Paraskeva, Chair, Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission

Noel Shanahan, new Commissioner and CEO, Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission

The Work and Pensions Committee is conducting an inquiry into the proposed reforms of the child maintenance system.

The Green Paper ‘Strengthening families, promoting parental responsibility’ sets out the Government’s view that parents should be encouraged and supported to make their own arrangements for the maintenance of their children, before deciding to use the statutory maintenance scheme. The proposals include introducing charges for parents who use the statutory child maintenance service.

This is the second and final evidence session for this inquiry. The Committee will ask the Minister about the likely impact of the proposed reforms, including the impact on poorer and more vulnerable families. The Committee will also consider the availability of support services for separating parents and the proposal to close existing Child Support Agency cases.

The Terms of Reference for this inquiry can be found on the Committee’s website: http://www.parliament.uk/workpencom

Further information

Committee membership: Dame Anne Begg MP (Chair) (Lab, Aberdeen South), Harriett Baldwin MP (Con, West Worcestershire), Andrew Bingham MP (Con, High Peak), Karen Bradley MP (Con, Staffordshire Moorlands), Alex Cunningham MP (Lab, Stockton North), Kate Green MP (Lab, Stretford and Urmston), Mr Oliver Heald MP (Con, North East Hertfordshire), Glenda Jackson MP (Lab, Hampstead and Highgate), Brandon Lewis MP, (Con, Great Yarmouth), Stephen Lloyd MP (Lib Dem, Eastbourne), Teresa Pearce MP (Lab, Erith and Thamesmead)

Specific Committee Information: workpencom@parliament.uk 020 7219 2839

Media Information: bridgespalmerj@parliament.uk 020 7219 0724

Committee Website: http://www.parliament.uk/workpencom

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online: http://www.parliamentlive.tv

Publications/Reports/Reference Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge St, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474). Committee reports, press releases, evidence transcripts, Bills; research papers, a directory of MPs, plus Hansard (from 8am daily) and much more, can be found on http://www.parliament.uk

Open letter to the Work and Pensions Committee reviewing Child Maintenance

20/05/2011

Good afternoon

I have been reading the written submissions and watching the hearings via Parliament website with interest.

The wheresmydad.org.uk™ Charitable Organisation (#wco) provides practical information, support and assistance to Non-Resident Parents (NRP) that have lost contact with their children because the Parent with Care (PwC) has arbitrarily decided to stop access or the “authorities” are not fulfilling their duty of care to the child and for both parents.

We believe that Child Maintenance and Contact are both part of a bigger picture that should be taken into account where parents do not live together, for whatever reason.

I was pleased that Dame Anne Begg raised the issue that within her own constituency surgeries a significant number of NRP’s are forced into paying maintenance through the CSA/CMEC route but have no recourse to enforce Court Orders or contact arrangements that may be in force.  As you can appreciate, this is a major issue for NRP’s.

Looking at the submissions, I see CM02 from the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group indicates there may be problems relying on the HMRC data.  We’d like to point out that there are some simple ways to alleviate this fear:

  • place more responsibility on the tax payer to ensure their information is correct and up to date
  • effective transparency and sharing of fiscal data between central and local government, and where appropriate the banking sector
  • use HMRC as the gateway to a persons fiscal data, perhaps providing an “end of year” statement showing tax/ni collected, benefits received (including local government) etc thereby providing a “single version of the truth”
  • ensure improved collection rates of Child Maintenance (and fines) by always having this collected using the soon to be HMRC Real Time Information system

 Dr CM Davies, within CM03, provides good examples of where the current system of calculation does not take into account the circumstances of the NRP and therefore causes great hardship and distress.  In addition, an NRP needs to provide adequate accommodation to their child(ren) and the “system” needs to take this into account – including that additional bedrooms may be needed.  Adrienne Burgess made a good point that the “system” should treat NRP’s as a Family where they have 14% of residence.  This would ensure the NRP gets all the systematic support that is currently only afforded to the PWC – including lower cost social housing and other passport benefits.

Ms Burgess also made a valid point that the way maintenance calculations are performed currently precludes benefit payments, however were the parents living together their joint income would be used.  In addition, there are basic living expenses that should be taken into account, eg housing costs and travel to work etc .. without this, the NRP simply would not be able to afford to pay the maintenance imposed and therefore creates arrears that simply cannot be realistically paid.

Overall, I am pleased the issue of Child Maintenance is being reviewed although disappointed that it has taken so long.  We agree that both parents should shoulder responsibility for their children, and this includes fair access to the child(ren) and fair payment by both.

This is a complicated issue; however, I strongly believe that Child Maintenance should not have its own agency.  The payments issue should be resolved via mediation & subsequent court approval – taking into account all circumstances of both parents.  The concept of shared or co-parenting should be enshrined in law, with all the support that this should afford being mandated to be provided by the relevant agencies and bodies.

Perhaps the committee should encourage the interaction on this subject between Sir Alan Beith of the Justice Committee, Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith of the Social Justice Committee, Graham Stuart of the Education Committee, Rt Hon David Cameron of the Childhood and Families Taskforce and David Norgrove of the Family Justice Review Panel.  Not forgetting to take into account the valuable work of Rt Hon Frank Field and the Review on Poverty and Life Chances.

As a final comment, where parents do not live together, the PWC should not have a significant improvement in living standards at the expense of the NRP.  Their living standards should reflect their own income bracket.  If the parents could not afford to look after a child together – they should not be having a child!

May I congratulate you on your work and wish you well in your endeavours.

Gov Written Answer – #wco CMEC-CSA (Work & Pensions: Children: Maintenance)

29/04/2011

McCartney, Karl raised and interesting point.

Subject(s): CMEC-CSA; Money; NRP Rights; Parenting

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

(1) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Child Support Agency and its successor in ensuring appropriate maintenance payments are made; and what changes he proposes to make under the reformed statutory child maintenance system;

(2) what steps he is taking to improve the (a) efficiency and (b) effectiveness of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission;

(3) what steps he is taking to ensure that the reformed statutory child maintenance system will provide resident parents with (a) an efficient and (b) a coherent service.

Comment by #wco: £460 million (40% cost to collect) … a shocking waste of money. If they invested this money in promoting, encouraging and allowing NRP’s to see their children then we are sure the maintenance “problem” will be reduced dramatically.

Add onto this the costs for legal aid, judicial costs, capital costs for court buildings and all the other ancilliary costs then this figure will probably exceed £1 billion per year.

Other contacts: Miller, Maria

More information can be seen at:
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2011-04-26b.51637.h

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/strengthening-families.pdf

Published: 26/04/2011 12:00:00
http://www.wheresmydad.org.uk
http://www.thirdchamber.org.uk

Gov Written Answer – #wco CMEC-CSA (Work & Pensions: Child Support)

29/04/2011

McIntosh, Anne raised and interesting point.

Subject(s): CMEC-CSA; Money; Parenting; NRP Rights

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent representations he has received on the length of time taken to settle child support claims; and if he will make a statement.

Comment by #wco:

Other contacts: Miller, Maria

More information can be seen at:
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2011-04-26b.50245.h

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/strengthening-families.pdf

Published: 26/04/2011 12:00:00
http://www.wheresmydad.org.uk
http://www.thirdchamber.org.uk

Gov Written Answer – #wco CMEC-CSA (Work & Pensions: Children: Maintenance)

28/04/2011

Carmichael, Neil MP raised and interesting point.

Subject(s): CMEC-CSA; Money; NRP Rights; Parenting

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many disputes between partners about levels of child support payable in cases where one or both former partners were self-employed the Child Support Agency and its successor recorded in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

Comment by #wco:

Other contacts: Miller, Maria Geraghty, Stephen

More information can be seen at:
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2011-03-30a.48577.h

Published: 30/03/2011 12:00:00
http://www.wheresmydad.org.uk
http://www.thirdchamber.org.uk

Gov Written Answer – #wco CMEC-CSA (Work & Pensions: Children: Maintenance)

28/04/2011

MacTaggart, Fiona raised and interesting point.

Subject(s): CMEC-CSA; Childcare; Money; Parenting

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

(1) what proportion of the live and assessed caseload of the Child Support Agency is attributable to parents with care on income-related benefits; and what the average weekly child maintenance liability for this group (a) including and (b) excluding nil liability was in the latest period for which figures are available;

(2) what proportion of the live and assessed cases with a positive liability being handled by the Child Support Agency is attributable to parents with care on income-related benefits.

Comment by #wco:

Other contacts: Miller, Maria Geraghty, Stephen

More information can be seen at:
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2011-03-24a.47345.h

Published: 24/03/2011 12:00:00
http://www.wheresmydad.org.uk
http://www.thirdchamber.org.uk

Gov Written Answer – #wco CMEC-CSA (Work & Pensions: Children: Maintenance)

28/04/2011

Green, Kate raised and interesting point.

Subject(s): CMEC-CSA; Money; Parenting; Childcare

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

(1) what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the effects of his proposals to levy charges on parents who use the future child support scheme on (i) children living apart from one parent, (ii) parents with care, and (iii) non-resident parents;

(2) with reference to the proposed new charging regime for use of the statutory child maintenance service proposed in the Strengthening Families, promoting parental responsibility Green Paper, what research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the number of children who live in separated families for whom effective arrangements are in place for the purposes of determining the potential effects of the new charging regime on the number of such children with effective arrangements.

Comment by #wco:

Other contacts: Miller, Maria

More information can be seen at:
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2011-03-24a.47336.h

Published: 24/03/2011 12:00:00
http://www.wheresmydad.org.uk
http://www.thirdchamber.org.uk

Gov Written Answer – #wco CMEC-CSA (Works & Pensions: Children: Maintenance)

28/04/2011

Green, Kate raised and interesting point.

Subject(s): CMEC-CSA; Childcare; Money; Parenting

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the estimates of likely take-up of family-based maintenance arrangements at paragraph 4 of his Department’s impact assessment on the Child Maintenance Green Paper, if he will estimate the likely effect of the take-up of such arrangements on (a) the running costs of the proposed statutory child support system and (b) the number of cases to be handled under that system.

Comment by #wco:

Other contacts: Miller, Maria

More information can be seen at:
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2011-03-24a.47335.h

Published: 24/03/2011 12:00:00
http://www.wheresmydad.org.uk
http://www.thirdchamber.org.uk

Gov Written Answer – #wco CMEC-CSA (Work & Pensions: Children: Maintenance)

28/04/2011

Buck, Karen raised and interesting point.

Subject(s): CMEC-CSA; Money; Parenting

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many parents called the Child Maintenance Options Service in 2009-10; how many went on to make or change a private maintenance arrangement; how many went on to make Child Support Agency (CSA) arrangements; and how many made neither a private arrangement nor a CSA arrangement.

Comment by #wco:

Other contacts: Miller, Maria Geraghty, Stephen

More information can be seen at:
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2011-03-24a.46063.h

Published: 24/03/2011 12:00:00
http://www.wheresmydad.org.uk
http://www.thirdchamber.org.uk

Gov Written Answer – #wco CMEC-CSA (Work & Pensions: Children: Maintenance)

28/04/2011

Bain, William raised and interesting point.

Subject(s): CMEC-CSA; Money; NRP Rights; Parenting

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the savings to his Department attributable to the operation of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission in each of the next four financial years.

Comment by #wco:

Other contacts: Miller, Maria

More information can be seen at:
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2011-03-22a.46830.h

Published: 22/03/2011 12:00:00
http://www.wheresmydad.org.uk
http://www.thirdchamber.org.uk


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