HC Deb 12 June 1995 vol 261 c422W
Ms Lynne

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what research he is undertaking to establish to what extent unpaid child support payments are being improperly avoided; and to what extent they represent a genuine inability to pay. [27946]

Mr. Burt

The 1995–96 Department of Social Security research programme includes a planned survey of absent parents. It is intended that the survey will consider all aspects of the impact of the Child Support Act 1991.

Where arrears of child support maintenance are due, the Child Support Agency will contact the absent parent to discuss means of repayment, including reasonable instalment arrangements. In cases where the absent parent refuses to make repayment, appropriate, action to collect and enforce the arrears will be taken. The proposed departure scheme will provide additional help for the small numbers facing genuine difficulties in making payment of maintenance because of exceptional circumstances.