Government reveals child support plans

The Child Support Agency will be replaced by a Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission headed by a commissioner for child maintenance, under measures contained in a new white paper.

The government expects the commission to be established in 2008.

The white paper proposes that the names of non-resident parents who are successfully prosecuted for failing to pay maintenance or who have a successful application made against them could be made public. 

Non-resident parents could also be forced to surrender their passport or be subjected to a curfew. Legislation will also be  changed to require both parents to register their names after the birth of their child.

The white paper also proposes tackling child poverty by ensuring that all parents with the care of a child in receipt of benefit could keep the first £10 of maintenance paid without it affecting their benefit.

Announcing the measures, work and pensions secretary John Hutton said: “Our proposals to get visibly tougher on enforcement send out a clear signal that non-payment of maintenance will not be tolerated.”

A New System of Child Maintenance white paper


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