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Academics questioned on the effectiveness of the Child Maintenance System

18 October 2022

The Work and Pensions Committee will question mathematics and social science academics on how effectively the current Child Maintenance System (CMS) alleviates child poverty.


Wednesday 19 October, Committee Room 5, Palace of Westminster

At 9.15am

  • Dr Christine Davies, Honorary Senior Lecturer in Mathematics, Royal Holloway University of London
  • Dr Jon Symonds, Senior Lecturer in Social Work with Children and Families, University of Bristol
  • Professor Esther Dermott, Professor of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Bristol
  • Dr Mia Hakovirta, Senior Research Fellow, University of Turku

MPs are expected to examine various methods to reduce the higher burden on CMS paying parents while ensuring that children are properly supported. Evidence shows that just one third of CMS payments are made in full, and that 48% of resident parents who do not receive payments miss out because the other party doesn’t pay. The Committee is likely to consider how best to ensure that CMS payments are made when needed.

The academics may also be asked how CMS payments interact with social security payments such as Universal Credit. The third session of the Children in Poverty: Child Maintenance Service inquiry may also cover whether parents on social security should be exempt from CMS fees, and whether paying parents on Universal Credit are incentivised to work.

Further information

Image: CCO