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Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what account the Child Support Agency takes of the earnings of a second wife in respect of a father's maintenance payments for children of his first marriage where the second wife has young children of her own first marriage for whom she does not receive maintenance from their father.
Mr. Hague : The calculation of the amount of maintenance an absent parent is required to pay is based on his own income and essential expenditure. The assessment takes account only of a new partner's income to the extent that she is able to contribute to the costs associated with
Column 163bringing up children of the new relationship, which are otherwise taken into account in full against the absent parent's allowable expenses.
The only other way the income of a new partner affects the assessment is in the calculation of protected income. This calculation looks at all of the income and outgoings of the new family to ensure that the payment of maintenance does not reduce their resources below a prescribed level.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has to require the Child Support Agency to take account of child- minding fees when assessing maintenance ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hague : Under the formula which the agency uses to calculate maintenance, the basic maintenance level for children already includes an amount to recognise their need to be cared for by an adult. This amount depends on the age of the youngest child to be maintained and reduces as that child grows older.
There is no specific allowances for child-minding fees against the income of an absent parent who is bringing up children, but the formula is designed to ensure that all absent parents keep a substantial proportion of their net income after paying maintenance so that they can meet essential expenditure.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what legal advice has been obtained concerning proposals to introduce regulations applying an habitual residence test to the payment of benefit ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Jenkin : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the amount of money spent on social security per thousand of population and the total amount spent on social security in the United Kingdom and in each of the other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries.
Mr. Hague [holding answer 21 March 1994] : The table provides information for selected OECD countries and the United Kingdom on the amount of money spent on social protection per thousand of population and the total amount spent on social protection. It is customary to use social protection, which includes public health care costs, personal social services and compulsory occupational pensions as well as social security for international comparisons.
Country |Expenditure on |Expenditure per |Expenditure on |Expenditure per |Social |Social |Protection |thousand population |Protection |thousand population |(millions) |(millions) |in national currency|(millions) |converted to pounds |(millions) converted |sterling at March |to pounds sterling |at |1994 exchange rates |March 1994 exchange |rates ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Canada |127,481 |4.8 |62,216 |2.3 USA |832,000 |3.3 |559,140 |2.2 Japan |50,944,000 |412.3 |331,106 |2.7 Australia |49,187 |2.9 |23,367 |1.4 Austria |450,327 |58.3 |25,791 |3.3 Denmark |240,898 |46.8 |24,581 |4.8 Finland |39,166 |7.9 |4,765 |1.0 France |1,822,000 |32.3 |214,353 |3.8 Germany |654,750 |10.6 |263,258 |4.3 Italy |314,896,000 |5,453.0 |129,480 |2.2 Netherlands |165,206 |11.0 |59,135 |3.9 Norway |191,559 |45.0 |17,688 |4.2 Portugal |1,446,275 |146.7 |5,623 |0.6 Spain |10,525,000 |270.2 |51,135 |1.3 Sweden |462,359 |54.0 |39,383 |4.6 United Kingdom |126,757 |2.2 |126,757 |2.2 Sources: Quarterly National Accounts No. 4, 1993, OECD. Social Protection Expenditure and Receipts 1980-1991, Eurostat. Note: Figures are only available for OECD countries compiling national accounts on a quarterly basis and are based on countries' own national accounts data without adjustment for national definitions to System of National Accounts standards. No direct comparisons should therefore be made between the countries as the data provides only an approximate indication of magnitude.