House of Commons
Publications on the internet
Other Bills before Parliament
Bill Home Page
|Child Maintenance And Other Payments Bill|
These notes refer to the Lords Amendments to the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Bill, as brought from the House of Lords on 2nd June 2008 [Bill 116]
CHILD MAINTENANCE AND OTHER PAYMENTS BILL
EXPLANATORY NOTES ON LORDS AMENDMENTS
1. These explanatory notes relate to the Lords Amendments to the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Bill, as brought from the House of Lords on 2nd June 2008. They have been prepared by the Department for Work and Pensions in order to assist the reader of the Bill and the Lords Amendments and to help inform debate on the Lords Amendments. They do not form part of the Bill and have not been endorsed by Parliament.
2. These notes, like the Lords Amendments themselves, refer to HL Bill 12, the Bill as first printed for the Lords.
3. These notes need to be read in conjunction with the Lords Amendments and the text of the Bill. They are not, and are not meant to be, a comprehensive description of the effect of the Lords Amendments.
4. All the Lords amendments were in the name of the Minister.
COMMENTARY ON LORDS AMENDMENTS
Lords Amendment 1
5. This amendment would require the Commission to include in its Annual Report details of arrangements it has entered into with other public bodies under clause 7 (arrangements between the Commission and another body for the functions of one to be exercised by the other or its staff, or for one to provide administrative, professional or technical services to the other).
Bill 116EN 54/3
Lords Amendments 2 to 5 and 106 to 117.
6. These amendments would change the status of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission ("the Commission") to that of a Crown body. Amendments 106 to 117 amend Schedule 1 to provide for the functions of the Commission to be carried out on behalf of the Crown and, for its staff to be Civil Servants. They also make consequential changes to provision about liability. Amendment 2 inserts a new clause requiring the Secretary of State to review the status of the Commission after 3 years with the possibility of further reviews. Following a review the Secretary of State would have power to make amendments so that the Commission would cease to be a Crown body. Amendment 3 removes clause 13 which makes provision about the transfer of staff of the Child Support Agency to employment by the Commission. This would not be needed if the Commission is a Crown body, as staff of the Agency transferring to the Commission would remain Civil Servants and not change their employer. Amendments 4 and 5 make consequential amendments to clause 14.
Lords Amendment 6.
7. Amendment 6 inserts a new clause which would place a requirement on the Commission to consider additional information or evidence where it appears appropriate before deciding applications for variations made by a parent with care (and applications in Scotland by a child of 12 or over). The provision would require the Commission to use the information or evidence already available to it and, where necessary, to take steps to obtain further information or evidence from other sources.
Lords Amendments 7 to 23.
8. These amendments would enable regular deduction orders to be made in respect of accounts held with a deposit-taker, including joint accounts, if regulations so provide. Regulations would also set out the safeguards that would apply before an order could be made in respect of a joint account and prescribe the description of accounts from which a regular deduction order could not be made. Regulations would also make provision for persons affected by a regular deduction order to have a right of appeal to the court.
Lords Amendments 24 to 49.
9. These amendments would enable lump sum deduction orders to be made in respect of accounts held with a deposit-taker or from an amount of a prescribed description due to the liable person from another person. This would include joint accounts, if regulations so provide. Regulations would also set out the safeguards that would apply to any lump sum deductions from joint accounts. Regulations would make provision for any person affected by a lump sum deduction order to have a right of appeal to a court.
Lords Amendment 50 to 52, 96 and 98.
10. These amendments would allow the Commission to apply to the High Court in England and Wales (and in Scotland to the sheriff or the Court of Session) for an order to prevent a non-resident parent who has failed to pay child support maintenance from disposing of assets or from transferring property, where that disposition or transfer is being undertaken with the intention of avoiding payment of child support maintenance. The Commission would also be able to apply to the court if a non-resident parent has failed to pay maintenance, for an order to set aside a disposition of any assets, if that disposition was undertaken with the intention of avoiding payment of child support maintenance.
Lords Amendments 53 to 82, 99, 102 and 122.
11. Amendments 53 to 60, 62, 63, 65 to 82 would change the procedure for disqualifying a person for holding or obtaining a travel authorisation, from an administrative to a court-based one. The Commission would be able to apply to a magistrates' court in England and Wales, or the sheriff in Scotland, for a disqualification order. The grounds on which an order could be made would remain the same - that a non-resident parent has wilfully refused or culpably neglected to pay child support maintenance.
12. Amendments 61 and 64 replace the word 'fit' with 'just' in the test to be applied in deciding whether to suspend a disqualification order. These amendments are to create consistency with sections 40(3)(b) and 40B(1)(b) of the Child Support Act 1991.
13. Amendments 99, 102 and 122 are consequential to the change to court-based procedure.
Lords Amendments 83 to 85.
14. These amendments make drafting changes to clauses 27 and 28 which would ensure consistency within those clauses and with clause 26. They replace 'liable person' with 'person searched'.
Lords Amendments 86 to 89.
15. Amendments 86 and 87 would require that regulations must provide for the Commission to seek the consent of the person with care before accepting partial payment of arrears in full and final settlement, except where specified conditions apply.
16. Amendments 88 and 89 would impose a corresponding requirement for regulations to provide for the consent of the person with care to be sought before the Commission exercises its powers to transfer arrears.
Lords Amendments 90 to 92, 97, 101 and 105.
17. Amendment 90 inserts a new clause to enable the disclosure of information relating to family proceedings. This change would allow a party to specified family proceedings to disclose relevant information relating to those proceedings to the Commission, for the purposes of child support, without such a disclosure causing the party to be found in contempt of court. Amendments 91, 92, 97 and 101 are consequential to the new clause. Amendment 105 provides for the new clause to be brought into force only with the consent of the Lord Chancellor.
Lords Amendments 93, 94, 95, 100, 103, 104, 120, 121 and 123 to 125.
18. These amendments make minor or technical amendments to the Bill.
19. Amendment 93 provides for the first set of regulations made under the powers in Clause 47 (conditions of entitlement for mesothelioma payments) to be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure. Amendment 94, with 95, provides for affirmative resolution procedure for an order under the new clause inserted by Amendment 2 (review of status of the Commission) and for the first set of regulations which relate to the transfer of existing cases onto the new arrangements for child support maintenance.
20. Amendment 100 would ensure that any references to maintenance calculations in section 40A of the Child Support Act 1991 (order for committal to prison in Scotland) may be read as references to maintenance assessments so that the provision would operate in relation to both existing old and new schemes.
21. Amendment 103 relates to administrative liability orders under section 32I of that Act, inserted by clause 23, which supersede court-based liability orders under section 33. It would mean that any limitation period preventing an application for a liability order under section 33 would not prevent a liability order being made under section 32I.
22. Amendment 104 would allow transitional or saving provisions to be included in an order under clause 59 appointing the day for the coming into force of any provision of the Bill.
23. Amendment 120 would correct an amendment made by the Bill to section 40B of the Child Support Act 1991 which inadvertently changes the definition of "court" in relation to appeals by non-resident parents against a disqualification from driving order.
24. Amendment 121 provides for any regulations under the provisions inserted in the Child Support Act 1991 by clauses 21 and 22 (deduction orders) to be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.
25. Amendment 123 provides for the first set of regulations made in relation to the monitoring of curfew orders to be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure. Amendment 124 provides for any regulations made regarding the power under inserted section 51A of the Child Support Act 1991 to make pilot schemes under that Act to be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.
26. Amendment 125 provides for the repeal of paragraphs 96 and 97 of Schedule 13 to the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. Those paragraphs amend sections 40 and 40B of the Child Support Act 1991 and are superseded by amendments made by Schedule 7 to the Bill.
Lords Amendments 118 and 119.
27. Amendments 118 and 119 would provide the Commission with access to information held by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs ("HMRC") for the purposes of functions to relating to National Insurance contributions. Schedule 6 to the Bill already provides a data sharing gateway between the Commission and HMRC. These amendments would ensure that the gateway can be used by the Commission to obtain information relating to National Insurance contributions in addition to income tax.
|© Parliamentary copyright 2008||Prepared: 3 June 2008|