Select Committee on Social Security Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum submitted by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) (CS 25)


  CPAG offers broad support to the new child support scheme proposed in the White Paper Cm 4349.

  The current scheme is not working, and we agree that it is need of radical reform. We agree that it is reform of the scheme, rather than its abolition, that it is required. We believe that use of an administrative formula, whilst not without its problems, still has the most potential to provide a child support scheme that actually supports children and is fair to parents.

  The failings of the current scheme are many. But the single most important, overarching failure is the inability to provide financial support from non-resident parents to so many of the very poorest children in the country. The inclusion of a "child support premium" (or a child maintenance disregard) for parents with care on income support, and a 100 per cent disregard for those on the new tax credits, will ensure that for the first time children in the majority of the poorest families get direct financial benefit from the scheme. That significant contribution to the fight against child poverty will be the most important achievement of the new scheme.

  Our support for the White Paper is not unqualified. Child maintenance cannot in itself solve the problem of child poverty, and should not diminish the importance of adequate public provision for children. We remain concerned for that minority of poorer families who could be adversely affected, especially some of the working parents with care who may get less maintenance, and—in other cases—some "second" families who may find increased assessments hard to meet. We believe the protection proposed for such families needs strengthening, via slower phasing in of some decreased assessments, help for second families on income support and some broadening of the appeal mechanism.

  In addition, we are concerned that the drive to greater simplicity and efficiency in the delivery of the new scheme (which in broad terms we do support) could result in some families getting a second class service. In particular, we believe that the provision of "face-to-face" contact needs strengthening, that appeal tribunals should be comprised of at least a man and a woman, and that very punitive measures against parents risk compromising the welfare of the child.


  1.1  CPAG gives broad support to the new child support scheme proposed in the White Paper Cm 4349. We believe that the White Paper is founded on a largely accurate diagnosis of the problems with the current scheme. The measures contained in the White Paper are directed to providing a simpler, more efficient scheme that is of actual benefit to the poorest children, and we support those aims.

  1.2  It is generally accepted that the current scheme is not working. In "CHILDREN FIRST: a new approach to child support", Cm 3992, the Green Paper that preceded the present paper, the Government said that 1.8 million children are not receiving a penny in maintenance from their non-resident parents.[13] That single statistic underlines the most fundamental failing of the scheme: that it is not delivering financial support from non-resident parents to children. CPAG agree that parents do have a responsibility to provide such support, according to their means.

  1.3  Behind that failure lay three important dysfunctions which have bedevilled the scheme from the very start: non-compliance, delay and error. Currently, only about 44 per cent of non-resident parents pay all the child support that they have been assessed to pay, and 31 per cent pay nothing at all.[14] Between January and March 1999, the Child Support Agency managed to clear just 62 per cent of maintenance applications within 22 weeks.[15] Once again, the Auditor General has qualified his opinion on the CSA's accounts, finding that 79 per cent of full maintenance balances were for the wrong amount. This was partly the result of a "legacy of error" from the past, but even now the Agency are still getting only 77 per cent of maintenance assessments correct.[16] Such problems must be corrected if the system is to succeed. The extent of the problem clearly shows the need for radical change.


  1.4  Undoubtedly, the extreme complexity of the current system is a major cause of problems. The White Paper says that over 100 pieces of information can be required to make a full assessment, and that CSA staff spend on average 90 per cent of their time making assessments leaving only 10 per cent of resources for chasing up non-payers. This creates confusion and frustration for parents, and leaves children without child support.

  1.5  The very poor performance of the CSA, especially in the early years, has compounded the problems inherent in the rules. At the very least, the CSA are not capable of delivering the current system satisfactorily; they will have to do much better with the new one. However, although the current system's complexity originated in a well-intentioned desire to accommodate individual circumstances in a formula, in practice it is clear that the system itself is too error-prone and unwieldy. CPAG's experience is that both parents and advisers have great difficulty in understanding and working with the system. Therefore we agree with the principle of a simple system of rates combined with special rules for second families and low income non-resident parents.

  1.6  We believe that radical reform of the system, rather than its complete abolition, is the best route to follow. The current system originated in dissatisfaction with the court-based arrangements that preceded it, which were felt to be arbitrary, slow and ineffective.[17] CPAG have pointed out that formula-based systems offer the advantage of consistency, avoidance of discrimination and implications of blame.[18] Recently, there has been a trend towards such rule-based systems in Europe, especially Scandinavia, on the basis that they can achieve greater consistency, transparency and comprehension. The results are not yet fully known, but it does seem to be successful in at least one country, Denmark. In countries with fully or partly discretionary schemes, like Belgium and the Netherlands, it seems that the schemes are no more successful, and are worse in terms of benefit for children.[19]

  1.7  CPAG believe that a formula is still the best way to prioritise child support, provide consistent assessments, make it accessible to poorer parents, and allow for speedy and efficient assessment and enforcement. We do however recognise that the current formula-based system has failed, and that it is essential that the one proposed in the White Paper succeeds.


  1.8  A crucial factor in delivering success is that the system helps to prevent and alleviate child poverty. If it does so, not only will it make a contribution to the fight against a social evil, but it will win the support of parents and the wider public, who will understand that the system really does offer benefit to children. Child poverty tripled between 1968 and 1995-96, so that one third of children were living in poverty by the latter date. The problem is especially acute in one-parent families. In such families, 65 per cent of children are poor. But even among couples, 24 per cent of children are living in poverty.[20]

  1.9  At the root of our support for the White Paper is that it makes a significant step forward in tackling child poverty. Partly, this is by providing a simpler, more efficient system. But mainly it is because of the inclusion of a £10 per week "child support premium" (more accurately, a maintenance disregard) for parents with care on income support, and a total disregard of child support for parents on tax credits (working families tax credit and disabled person's tax credit). CPAG have long argued for a maintenance disregard, and combined with the total disregard for tax credits the measure will ensure that the very poorest children actually benefit from the receipt of child support.

  1.10  The amount of the premium is relatively modest. At a maximum of £10 per week (and many parents with care will only get the minimum £5 per week, although that will all be disregarded) it will be a source of support, rather than a route out of poverty. CPAG would have preferred a slightly more generous disregard (£15 per week) in order to have a greater impact on child poverty. We also call now for the premium to be introduced straight away. It could easily be accommodated within the current system, and would be a sound investment in the future of the children concerned.

  1.11  The effect on child poverty of such help will be significant. In February 1999, there were 827,000 parents with care with full maintenance assessments. At the point of entry into the system, some 65-67 per cent are on income support. It seems that over time the proportion on income support declines to about 43 per cent, with a further 21 per cent on what is now family credit but what will become working families tax credit from October 1999.[21] Additionally, of those on family credit, some 5 per cent have current assessments below the projected new average of £30.50 a week, and so could get a higher assessment. Other parents with care, including some of those who actually get a lower assessment on paper should benefit from the increased compliance that the new system is expected to bring about (the Government have estimated that compliance will rise to 80 per cent[22]).

  1.12  Therefore at the point of entry into the system, around 70 per cent of parents with care will benefit from the "child support premium" and new assessment. Over time that proportion will decline to somewhere between about 48 and 64 per cent as the parents leave income support. The proportion who are better off overall will be increased by greater compliance. Therefore benefit to poorer children is partially dependent on behavioural factors, ie increased compliance from non-resident parents. This will also require a much improved performance from the Child Support Agency.

  1.13  However, any child maintenance scheme is necessarily limited in its potential for tackling child poverty. The situation is one in which two households are created where once there was one, and both parents may be on low or very low incomes. As noted above, poverty is especially prevalent in lone-parent families. But it is also important that somewhere between one quarter and one third of non-resident parents are on income support or income-based jobseeker's allowance, the basic subsistence benefits.[23] Many others are on low earned incomes. Additionally, as noted above, the proposed disregard for income support is relatively modest.

  1.14  CPAG welcome the other steps that the Government is taking to tackle child poverty—such as introducing tax credits, and increasing child benefit and income support allowances for younger children. Recently, emphasis has been placed on a growth in "worklessness" as a major factor in the rise in child poverty[24], whilst other research has emphasised the inadequacy of income support levels in providing a "low cost but acceptable" standard of living, and in meeting the needs of disabled children.[25] The message is clear: child maintenance can help the poorest children, but care needs to be exercised in order to avoid recycling money from the quite poor to the very poor, and maintenance cannot substitute for adequately paid work and public provision in the form of social security benefits set at adequate levels.


  2.1  A minority of poorer families could be adversely affected by the scheme proposed in the White Paper. Whilst it is inevitable that any new scheme creates "winners" and "losers", the prospect of any poorer families being disadvantaged must give cause for concern. Moreover, adjustments could be made which would increase protection for such families without subverting the working of the scheme.


  2.2  Firstly, some working parents with care will get lower child maintenance assessments than those they have under the current scheme. Some of those may suffer a decline in income. The amount of the average assessment will fall from about £38 per week now to an estimated £30.50 per week under the new scheme.[26] About 90,000 parents with care could get a lower assessment. Of those, around 50,000 are getting family credit, some of whom will still gain overall due to the total disregard of child support in working families tax credit.[27] They may also be helped by the more generous nature of tax credits, increases in child benefit and the increased compliance in the new system.

  2.3  However it remains possible that some will lose out. Those who may be particularly vulnerable are those who get a lower assessment but who cannot benefit from the complete disregard of child support in tax credits. Those are the parents who are already having all of their child support disregarded from their family credit, because it is already under the level of the current disregard of £15 per week. Most working parents with care will get at least £5 a week in child maintenance under the new scheme; but currently there are 21,000 parents with care on family credit who have assessments of between £5 and £20 a week.[28] Protection could be increased by slower phasing in of lower assessments (eg a decrease of £2.50 per week per year instead of £5) for parents with care on family credit. That would at least give poorer parents with care more time to adjust to a lower assessment.


  2.4  Secondly, a minority of poorer "second" families could be adversely affected. This is despite the fact that the average assessment will be lower (and consequently most non-resident parents will not be worse off). Of the 150,000 non-resident parents who will have their assessments increased or will lose their exemption from paying child support, about 68 per cent are on benefit or have net incomes of less than £200 per week.[29] Only 22 per cent of non-resident parents have repartnered. But, with such a significant proportion on low incomes, it is right to consider the position of the children in such families in the context of the overall aim of tackling child poverty.

  2.5  CPAG welcome the measures in the White Paper that are indeed aimed at protecting poorer second families. For many, those are likely to be adequate. But we remain concerned at the prospects for those who are already in financial difficulty, or whose circumstances are such that they are left with less disposable income than in most other families.

  2.6  In particular, the decision to remove exemption from paying child support from second families on income support means that those families will, as a matter of public policy, be required to live below the basic subsistence level. In our view, that is not an acceptable outcome. Even income support level is insufficient for children,[30] although we recognise that recent increases in benefits for children have narrowed the gap. In 1998, an independent report (the Acheson report) stated that, "the bulk of the empirical evidence comes from research demonstrating that people living on low incomes, including those whose income consists entirely of state benefits, have insufficient money to buy items and services necessary for good health".[31] This is in addition to the deleterious long-term effects on economic learning, behaviour and aspirations that children in income support families, like those in one-parent families, may undergo.[32]

  2.7  Other second families on low incomes but with high levels of debt, higher than average housing costs or high travel to work costs will not have such factors taken into account under the new scheme. The potential problem can be illustrated as follows (using October 1999 benefit rates). A second family comprised of a couple with one child aged under 11 where the non-resident parent has net earnings of £150 a week will be entitled to £50.20 a week in working families tax credit. Combined with the earnings, the assessable income for child support purposes would be £200.20, with child benefit (ignored for the assessment) bringing their weekly income to £214.60 a week. The child support assessment under the White Paper proposals would be £26 a week, leaving them with £188.60 a week to live on. Assuming average mortgage costs of £51.50 a week[33], they are left with an income after housing costs and child support of £137.50 a week. That is just £18.05 a week above the basic income support level, after housing costs, for the family. Higher than average housing costs, travel to work costs or essential debt repayments could easily bring them well below that level.


  2.8  In response to the Green Paper, CPAG argued for a protected income stage, similar to but not necessarily the same as that in the current system, in order to provide some flexibility in the formula, at least for second families. The idea of a protected income stage has been rejected as reintroducing an unacceptable level of complexity into the formula. We accept that there is a legitimate concern that such a stage could lead to a recurrence of the problems of delay and error that are so troublesome in the current scheme. For example, the Chief Child Support Officer notes that the calculation of housing costs has been especially problematic. Elsewhere in Europe (the Netherlands and Germany), it seems that making the rules more complex has resulted in systems that are more difficult to understand and administer, and more susceptible to error and non-compliance.[34]

  2.9  We acknowledge that simpler forms of protection could work. Second families on income support could have a child support premium paid as part of their benefit which would allow a deduction for child support that would not push them further into poverty. For other second families on low earned incomes, we believe that housing, job-retention and minimising debt are fundamental to family life. Disregarding some income in the calculation of housing benefit and tax credits for such families (ie where there is a second family and a child support assessment) would help them to continue to meet housing costs without complicating or reducing the child support assessment.

  2.10  For debt liability and job-retention, the appeal mechanism in the child support scheme could, in addition to that proposed, allow for adjustment where the non-resident parent has a legal liability to pay debts incurred in the first family, or where travel to work costs have been incurred or increased in order to facilitate contact with the child. This would preserve the policy intention in the White Paper only to lower liability for "clear child-centred reasons".[35]

  2.11  Having a slightly wider appeals provision need not lead to more delay. The Social Security Act 1998 (already in force for child support) provides for striking out of appeals considered frivolous or vexatious, and failure to respond to directions. The "regular payment condition" described in the White Paper[36] will mean that at least the minimum amount of child support will be paid whilst the appeal is pending.

  2.12  In the longer term, increases in benefit levels for children, particularly of universal benefits, will help to protect all families from poverty: that is why we consider the increase in child benefit was such a progressive decision by the Government. Ultimately, we believe that that an essential component of the package of measures to protect families from poverty is the concept of a minimum income standard. This will provide an estimate of what income a family needs to live on, and therefore function as a benchmark for social security and child support policy.


  2.13  There is a very clear need for the new system to work more quickly and more efficiently than the current one. CPAG support the drive towards a simpler and faster working scheme. This will be vital not only in increasing the public acceptance of the scheme, but in increasing compliance from non-resident parents and securing delivery of child support to parents with care. As noted above, that is essential if the new scheme is to succeed.

  2.14  In that context, the White Paper's announcement that, "improved technology and, more importantly, better trained and motivated staff will mean that most enquiries are dealt with effectively at the first point of contact" is welcome. Also welcome, in general terms, is the commitment to use telephone working where appropriate in order to maintain contact with parents, and provide a "face-to-face" service in other cases.[37]

  2.15  That ideal service will however be very hard for the CSA to achieve. At the moment, "customer" perceptions of the CSA are poor, with dissatisfaction at the lack of feedback, difficulties with telephone contact and damage to family relationships.[38] We note that the Agency has improved its service, for example by extending opening hours of the Client Help Lines and the National Enquiry Line, and actually answering more calls. However, answering just 81 percent of the calls to the Client Help Line still cannot be considered a satisfactory performance.[39]

  2.16  Additionally, there are signs of poor morale amongst Agency staff. That is not consistent with the desire to produce a good service to parents. In 1998-99, there was a significant increase in staff turnover, with low pay being the main reason for leaving, and a loss of experienced staff which, by the Agency's own admission, "has undoubtedly restricted our ability to deliver good service."[40] That trend must be reversed if the new scheme is to succeed.

  2.17  For many parents, particularly some of those living in poverty or with a disability, telephone working will not be appropriate. Some 23 per cent of the poorest households in the country do not possess a telephone.[41] Some parents may be restricted to taking incoming calls only. Parents with a sensory impairment may not regard the telephone an appropriate medium. The latest research show that there are an estimated 8,582,200 adults with disabilities in Great Britain (20 per cent of the adult population) with hearing and seeing disabilities among the most common, and that total income is lower in households including a disabled person than in all households.[42]

  2.18  However, neither the White Paper nor the CSA's Annual Report or Business Plan makes any reference to services for parents with disabilities. There is no mention of working with minicoms or typetalk to facilitate telephone working for parents with hearing impairments, or of checks on the accessibility of CSA premises for face-to-face work. It would seem that just 600 CSA staff are being trained for face-to-face service delivery. Given the large number of claimants for whom telephone contact may be unsuitable, this seems to us to be an inadequate number. The commitment to provide a suitable service for parents with disabilities should be clearer and more detailed.


  2.19  Under the Social Security Act 1998 and regulations made under it, the unified appeal tribunals that since 1 June 1999 consider child support appeals consist usually of just one legally qualified member, with two members sitting only where the appeal involves difficult financial issues. The White Paper does not propose to alter that. This is in the face of responses to a Green Paper on reform on decision making and appeals in social security (Cm 3328). Generally, the respondents considered three-person tribunals superior to decision making by a single person, as the lay "wing-members" contributed common sense and detachment, and ensured decisions resulted from reflection and debate.[43]

  2.20  CPAG believes that all tribunals should consist of three members. If there are to be less than three members, child support tribunals should consist of at least a male and a female member, as they frequently have to deal with issues like the effects of domestic violence, or whether a parent has a lifestyle inconsistent with their declared income. Indeed, the White Paper proposes that in claims to vary the assessment, the "expertise and independent judgement" of a tribunal will be applied only where there are "very complex issues" to be considered.[44] Our view is that such decisions are best decided by more than one person.


  2.21  The White Paper proposes a range of sanctions against parents, in addition to those which exist in the current scheme. The new powers would include fines and a late payment penalty of up to 25 per cent of the maintenance due. There is also a commitment to consider other punitive measures, including removal of driving licences, removal of passports and seizure of assets for non-payment.

  2.22  CPAG acknowledge that there is a serious problem with compliance in the current system. The starting point must be that parents should pay the assessed maintenance. But we believe that the new system should be given a chance to work, and parents a chance to work with it, before a more punitive approach is adopted. The current rules already provide for deductions from earnings orders, liability orders, distress and county court action and ultimately imprisonment for non-payment. One of the major problems has been that the CSA have not been able to make proper use of such powers, for example because of the time-consuming complexity of the assessment rules.

  2.23  With a much simpler system, enforcement action should be speedier and more effective; indeed, that is part of the rationale for simplifying the system. It may therefore be premature to increase sanctions against parents before the new simplicity has been given a chance to work. Very punitive measures, such as confiscation of driving licences and imprisonment, could well have an adverse longer-term effect on child support and family life. For example, loss of a driving licence could easily prejudice contact arrangements, lead to loss of a job and therefore the very income on which the assessment is based. This is even more obviously the case with imprisonment. We therefore remain opposed to such measures.


  2.24  CPAG were pleased that the White Paper proposed to retain the current definition of "good cause" for when a parent on income support is permitted not to apply for child support. Along with many other organisations, we believe the current definition is not itself the source of problems, and is vital in protecting the welfare of children and parents.

  2.25  Indeed, we note that Closer Working, in which Benefits Agency staff visit parents with care making a new claim for income support and complete maintenance application forms, has made a dramatic difference to co-operation rates. Now, over 75 per cent of parents with care on income support co-operate with the CSA, and there has been a 15 per cent reduction in those refusing to complete the form.[45] This is a complete reversal of the situation described in the Green Paper, where it was stated that, "over 70 per cent of lone mothers seek to avoid making a child support application."[46] To the extent there was ever a serious problem with co-operation—and there has never been any empirical evidence to indicate that was because of the good cause provision—this has now been reduced substantially.


  2.26  We were disappointed, therefore, at the decision to make, "the maintenance process flow directly from a benefit claim, unless the parent with care specifically opts out."[47] The result will be that parents with care who fear harm or undue distress to themselves or their children will be obliged to consider that and speak to the benefit authorities about it at virtually the same time as benefit is claimed. Although we share the concern in the White Paper that parents with care may come under pressure not to co-operate, the facts now seem to show that that is not a widespread problem.

  2.27  Moreover, we are concerned that the change could be prejudicial to the best interest of parents and children. Parents who fear harm or undue distress may need time to consider the issue of child maintenance in that context, and seek advice about that, even though they may need benefit right away. That is best facilitated by keeping the benefit and child support applications separate. A recent report by the British Medical Association pointed out that the reason many women find it difficult to leave the perpetrator of domestic violence in the first place often relates to a sense of personal blame, fear, isolation or depression, and that some women in ethnic minority groups are further disadvantaged by a lack of contact with support services.[48] That being the case, it may well be very difficult for some parents to claim "good cause" at the same time as they claim benefit.

  2.28  We also remain opposed to the imposition of a benefit penalty for non co-operation. Such penalties inevitably punish children by further reducing the income of an already poor family. Research indicates that a significant proportion of parents with care have genuine concerns about the effect of applications to the CSA on family relations.[49] Such issues form the largest single category in the contacts CPAG receive from advisers and parents on child support. For example, one report concerned two women from ethnic minority groups who preferred to accept benefit penalties rather than apply to the CSA and, as they feared, prejudice the chances of reconciliations with their ex-partners. Another letter from a parent with care underlined the distress caused by imposition of a benefit penalty where the parent feared a CSA application would result in disruption of contact arrangements: "They have now cut our income support and we are trying to live on £59.86 income support per week. We cannot do this, and I have not in my life felt quite so desperate and in need of help as I do now . . .". We regard it as unfair to penalise families in such circumstances.

13   Cm 3992, p 1. Back

14   Child Support Agency Quarterly Summary of Statistics, February 1999 (Government Statistical Service), p 3. Back

15   Child Support Agency Statistical Information, January 1999-March 1999. Back

16   Child Support Agency Annual Report and Accounts 1998-99 (Stationery Office), pp 89, 90, 95. Back

17   Children come first: The Government's proposals on the maintenance of children, Cm 1264. Back

18   Alison Garnham and Emma Knights, Putting the Treasury first; the truth about child support, (CPAG, 1994), ch 5. Back

19   Anne Corden, Making child maintenance regimes work, (Family Policy Studies Centre, 1999), chs 5 and 6. Back

20   Paul Gregg, Susan Harkness and Stephen Machin, Child development and family income (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 1999) ch 2. Back

21   CSA Quarterly Statistics passim; CSA Quarterly Statistics February 1999, p 29, Table 3.1 and Appendix C. Back

22   House of Commons Hansard, 4 November 1998, column 607. Back

23   In February 1999, there was no methodology for accurately assessing the benefit status of non-resident parents: CSA Quarterly Statistics, p 29 and Appendix C. The proporation used here are based on information in that appendix and in the main statistic. Back

24   Gregg, Harkness and Machin, op. citBack

25   Hermione Parker (ed), Low Cost but Acceptable: a minimum income standard for the UK-families with young children (The Policy Press and Zacchaeus 2000 Trust, 1998); Barbara Dobson and Sue Middleton, Paying to care: the cost of childhood disability (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 1998). Back

26   Cm 4349, p 13. Back

27   House of Commons Hansard, 4 November 1998, column 606. Back

28   CSA Quarterly Statistics, Table 3.2 Back

29   Based on figures in House of Commons Hansard, 22 July 1998, column 595, and CSA Quarterly Summary of Statistics, Table 3.6. Back

30   In 1998, income support rates provided only 70 per cent of what was actually spend on children in families on that benefit, and were between 20 and 50 per cent short of parents' perceptions of minimum income needs for disabled children: Sue Middleton, Kark Ashworth and Ian Braithwaite, Small fortunes: spending on children, childhood poverty and parental sacrifice, (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 1998), ch.5; Paying to care, op cit. Back

31   Independent Inquiry into Inequalities in Health Report (Stationery Office, 1998), p 35. Back

32   Jules Shropshire and Sue Middleton, Small expectations: learning to be poor? (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 1999). Back

33   Net average household expenditure on housing (excluding fuel and power): Family spending: a report on the 1997-98 Family Expenditure Survey, (Stationery Office, 1998), Table 3.1. Back

34   Annual Report of the Chief Child Support Officer, 1997-98, pp 10-14; Making child maintenance regimes work, op cit, ch 6. Back

35   Cm 4349, p 40. Back

36   Cm 4349, p 41. Back

37   Cm 4349, pp 26-27. Back

38   S Hutton, J Carlisle and A Corden, Customer Views on Service Delivery in the Child Support Agency, (DSS, 1998). Back

39   CSA Annual Report 1998-99, pp 14-15. Back

40   Ibid, p 23. Back

41   Family spending, op cit, Table 9.4. Back

42   E Grundy, D Ahlburg, M Ali, E Breeze and A Sloggett, Disability in Great Britain: results from the 1996-97 disability follow-up to the family resources survey (DSS, 1999). Back

43   Roy Sainsbury, Consultation on improving decision making and appeals in social security: analysis of responses (DSS, 1997). Back

44   Cm 4349, p 42 Back

45   CSA Annual Report, 1998-99, p 17. Back

46   Cm 3992, p 12. Back

47         Back

48   Domestic violence: a health care issue? (British Medical Association, 1998). Back

49   Karen Clarke, Gary Craig and Caroline Glendinning, Small change: the impact of the Child Support Act on lone mothers and children, (Family Policy Studies Centre, 1996); Customer Views on Service Delivery, op cit. Back

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 1999
Prepared 19 October 1999