HC Deb 24 February 1998 vol 307 cc215-6W
Mr. Kirkwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many reduced benefit directions are currently in force; how many of these directions have been issued since the increase of the benefit penalty on 7 October 1996; what are the estimated resulting benefit savings; and what amount of child support maintenance is received by (a) family credit claimants and (b) former income support claimants which is not offset by benefit reductions. [30134]

Mr. Keith Bradley

[holding answer 18 February 1998]: We think it right that lone mothers should co-operate wherever possible in requesting maintenance for their children from the father.

As of May 19971 there were around 6,000 reduced benefit directions in force on Income Support recipients. Figures for reduced benefit directions in force on parents with care in receipt of Family Credit or Disability Working Allowance are not available.

The number of reduced benefit directions implemented between 1 October 1996 and 31 January 1998 was 42,694. The estimated benefit savings of the increased 40 per cent. rate was £1.5 million up to May 1997.

It is estimated that in 1997–98 around £120 million in child maintenance will be received by parents with care on Family Credit. Information is not available on the amount received by former Income Support recipients.

Note: This is the latest information available.

Sources: May 1997 Income Support 5 per cent. Quarterly Statistical Enquiry. August 1997 Family Credit 5 per cent. Quarterly Statistical Enquiry.