§ Mr. Orbach
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many fathers have been found, in the last available year, to have received a child or children's allowance, which have not been paid over to the mother who is caring for the child or children.
§ Mr. Meacher
Where a father qualifies for an allowance or increase of benefit for a child living with his separated wife, it is paid on condition that he uses it as a contribution towards the child's maintenance. If he fails to pay over the appropriate amount, he ceases to be entitled to the benefit for the child and may be required to repay benefit he has retained.
However, the records of decisions made by the adjudicating authorities are not analysed to show separately cases where allowances for children have been overpaid for the reason my hon. Friend gives in his Question; and I regret that such an analysis could only be made at a disproportionate cost to public funds. But it is not thought that the number of defaulters is large.