§ Mr. Dewar
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) how many existing income support claimants remain to be taken on by the Child Support Agency before April 1996; and what are the targets for taking on income support cases for each year to 1995–96;
(2) if he will publish a table showing the average length of time from the Child Support Agency issuing a maintenance application form to the issue of the notification of an assessment, broken down into the average length of time taken (a) from the issue of the maintenance application form to the return of the form, (b) from the receipt of the completed maintenance application form to the issue of a maintenance inquiry form by the Child Support Agency, (c) from the issue of a maintenance inquiry form to the return of the form and (d) from the receipt of a completed maintenance inquiry form to the issue of the notification of an assessment;
(3) how many income support claimants were issued with maintenance application forms in each month since 588W April; how many of these were new claimants; and how many of the existing claimants were already receiving maintenance before Child Support Agency involvement.
§ Mr. Wicks
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) how many times inspectors have been used by the Child Support Agency as permitted under section 15 of the Child Support Act 1991; for what purposes they have been used; and in what areas;
(2) (i) in how many child support maintenance assessments payments are being made via the Child Support Agency, (ii) in how many cases there has been a request from a Child Support Agency client for the Child Support Agency to collect the payments from the absent parent, (iii) how many of these requests came from persons with care on income support, persons with care on family credit or disability working allowance, persons with care not on a relevant benefit and absent parents and (iv) whether any of these requests were refused;
(3) (i) how many arrears notices have been issued by the Child Support Agency, (ii) how many arrears agreements have been entered into and (iii) in how many Child Support Agency assessments there are arrears outstanding for more than 28 days; what percentage these figures are of the number of assessments made; and what is the estimated total amount of child support maintenance in arrears;
(4) how many deductions from earnings orders have been issued by the Child Support Agency; and what percentage this is of the Child Support Agency caseload;
(5) how many of the total section 4 applicants have opted to use the Child Support Agency collection service.
§ Mr. Gunnell
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) in how many cases the Child Support Agency has sought confidential informaion regarding the personal finances of an absent partner from that person's bank;
(2) on how many occasions the Child Support Agency has used the services of Robert Hemphill Interaction Services Ltd. for investigations.
§ Ms Primarolo
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many child support accounts involving a person with care claiming family credit have been in arrears at any point; and what amount of maintenance is currently outstanding on such accounts.
§ Ms Primarolo
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many of the reduced benefits directions were issued as a result of non-co-operation with the Child Support Agency in which no statement was provided by the parent with care about any risk of harm or undue distress; and in how many of these cases no reason was given for the refusal to authorise or provide information.
§ Ms Corston
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many office interviews have been carried out by Child Support Agency local officers; how many of these office interviews have been with persons with care and 589W how many with absent parents; how many home or other visits have been carried out by local office staff; and how many of the visits are to persons with care and how many to absent parents.
§ Mr. Channon
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) if he will introduce a system of phasing in extra maintenance costs imposed by the Child Support Agency;
(2) at what date assessments by the Child Support Agency become payable; and if he will ensure that some period of grace is allowed to enable those affected to make adequate arrangements to adjust to the new situation.
§ Mr. Burt
In cases where no court order is in force the effective date of maintenance assessments made by the Child Support Agency is the date the maintenance enquiry form is given or sent to the absent parent. Where a court order is in force the effective date of the child support assessment is two days after the assessment is made.
Arrangements can be made, if necessary, to allow for payment in instalments of arrears that accrue between the date a maintenance inquiry form is issued and the date the absent parent is informed of the amount of his child support maintenance liability.
There are existing provisions for phasing in child support maintenance assessments. These provisions apply where: an absent parent is responsible for maintaining a child or children living with him; there is an existing written maintenance arrangement or court order prior to April 1993; the formula award is less than £60; and the formula award would increase his liability by more than £20. Where these criteria are met, the increase in maintenance payments will be limited to £20 for the first 12 months.
§ Mr. Channon
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what account is being taken by the Child Support Agency of clean break arrangements between husbands and wives where a proportion of the equity in the family home is handed over by one partner to another; and how this is taken into consideration by the agency in calculating the amount of maintenance payable.
§ Mr. David Nicholson
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on the success of the Child Support Agency in tracing absent fathers who have not made a divorce or separation settlement.
§ Ms Primarolo
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many persons with care previously on income support are no longer regularly claiming the benefit as a result of a child support maintenance assessment; and how many of these persons with care have had to renew the claim for income support as a result of non-payment of the assessed amount.590W
§ Mr. Marlow
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will set out the nature of the formula whereby Mrs. Hepplewhite's salary relates to the sums generated by the activities of the Child Support Agency.
§ Mr. Burt
The Child Support Agency chief executive's entitlement to a performance bonus is largely determined by the achievement of the published performance targets for the new agency taken as a package. The key targets for 1993–94 were set out in my response to the hon. Member for Doncaster, North (Mr. Hughes) on 28 October 1993 at column753. They include the arrangement of maintenance for people with the care of children, keeping to the agency's agreed budget and the level of client satisfaction, as well as the achievement of the specified level of benefit savings.