HC Deb 08 March 1999 vol 327 c51W
30. Mr. Hinchliffe

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what progress has been made in the reform of the Child Support Agency. [73067]

Angela Eagle

We are currently considering responses to the Green Paper "Children First: a new approach to child support" and will bring forward our final proposals for reform in due course.

Ms Buck

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has to tackle the difficulties experienced by the Child Support Agency in assessing child maintenance due from self-employed parents. [75820]

Angela Eagle

Draft child support regulations have today been placed in both Houses. These will, from October 1999, allow self-employed parents to provide the figures, which they use for self assessment of their earnings for tax purposes, for use in calculating child maintenance. These provisions together with measures in the Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill currently before the House which will enable Inland Revenue to provide earnings information for the self-employed where the parent fails to supply the information to the Child Support Agency, and other operational improvements being introduced by the Agency, will lead to a simpler and more effective basis for getting maintenance flowing. The draft regulations also contain provisions to extend the suspension of fees for the Agency's assessment and collection services until April 2001.

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