HC Deb 17 July 1995 vol 263 c1303
11. Mr. Bennett

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people have lost family credit in the last 12 months on the basis of money awarded by the Child Support Agency and have not yet received the award. [32774]

Mr. Andrew Mitchell

None. Family credit is assessed on the basis of income actually received before the claim. If maintenance is not being paid, it will not be taken into account in assessing family credit.

Where maintenance has reduced as a result of the recent child support changes, recipients will receive compensation for the remainder of their family credit award.

Mr. Bennett

When does the Minister expect the Child Support Agency to work efficiently and effectively?

Mr. Mitchell

I have already answered that question this afternoon. On the hon. Gentleman's specific point about family credit, the CSA is the solver of the specific problem which he mentioned, not the reverse, because it adds to the amount due, but not paid to the bill, and chases it up. That did not happen under the old system.

Mrs. Roe

May I also add my congratulations to my hon. Friend on his promotion and wish him every success in his new role? Can he confirm that the 30-hour premium on family credit has been launched today, which will give an extra £10 a week to those new claimants for family credit who are working full time? I understand that that could benefit up to 345,000 claimants.

Mr. Mitchell

My hon. Friend is right. That welcome news, which has been received today, will affect 345,000 claimants. It will give extra encouragement to those on low pay, who are working full time. My hon. Friend may be interested to know that three quarters of those affected are married couples.