Select Committee on Social Security Minutes of Evidence

Case Study 1


  The non-resident parent (NRP) earns £200 per week (net). The parent with care (PWC) earns £200 per week (or more). The PWC receives £14.40 Child Benefit.

  The PWC has their daughter for 4 nights per week, while the NRP has her for the other 3 nights.

  There is a significant cost in looking after a child at all (fixed costs), and the cost per night after that is less significant. Therefore, each parent is assumed to spend £17 for the first night of care, and an extra £8 for each subsequent night. So they spend a total of £74 per week on their daughter.


  The PWC spends £9.60 of £200 income on the child per week. The NRP spends £50 of £200 income on the child. (This is £20 more than he would pay in Child Support if he never saw the child) The reasons are:

    —  The PWC does not support the child while she is the "absent parent" (Friday to Sunday).

    —  The PWC continues to receive the Child Benefit even while she is the "absent parent" (Friday to Sunday).

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Prepared 19 October 1999