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Committee comment on Child Maintenance Service

30 October 2018

The Committee is today publishing a response from the Minster for Child Maintenance to its questions on Government's approach to claiming historic child support debts, and its approach in instances where a parent's “assets and lifestyle” are apparently inconsistent with the income they have declared for calculating the child maintenance they owe. 

This afternoon the Lords' will debate amendments to the Child Support Regulations, currently passing through Parliament.

Commenting on the Department's response, Committee Member Heidi Allen, said: “It is clear the Minister is serious about tackling non- payment of child maintenance, particularly by those who wish to hide their income. Following my representations, the regulations have already been amended to ensure unearned income from capital is also included in a maintenance assessment.

Committee Comments

Commenting on the Department's response, Committee Member Heidi Allen, comments:

“However further assurances are still needed regarding how swiftly live, real time HMRC data will be shared with the CMS. The success of the CMS over the CSA will depend on the transparency of the data available to the Financial Investigations Unit (FIU). Child maintenance evasion also equates to tax evasion and one of the greatest weaknesses of the old system was that maintenance calculations were only based on the bottom line of tax returns. With the growth in self employment, financial data is everything and the CMS must have this detail.

“Furthermore, Parliament must receive regular reporting on the effectiveness of FIU; only then can we be sure that these new regulations are having the intended affect.”

Further information

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