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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (James Plaskitt) has made the following Statement.
The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Bill currently before Parliament provides for a non-departmental public body, the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission, to administer the statutory scheme of child maintenance in place of the Child Support Agency. The commission will require a robust financial and human resources system, which will be created through modification of the system in use by the Department for Work and Pensions. In order to avoid delay in the establishment of the commission, certain modifications to this system need to be made in advance of the Bill receiving Royal Assent. The cost of these modifications is estimated at £1,012,000, which will be met through repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund pending parliamentary approval of the Bill and of subsequent supply estimates.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Peter Hain) has made the following Statement.
The extent to which two of my departments agenciesthe Pension Service and the Disability and Carers Servicehave a shared set of customers has been increasing over time to the point where, currently, more than half of all of the customers of the Disability and Carers Service are now over pension age and thus customers of both agencies. Current trends in longevity mean that this proportion will continue to increase in the future.
Against this background it has become increasingly evident that the separate management of the two agencies is no longer the best means of providing a more integrated and seamless service to their customers. Accordingly we have decided to establish, as from the beginning of 2008-09, a single agency, under a single chief executive, to take responsibility for the work of the two organisations.
The two existing organisationsthe Pension Service and the Disability and Carers Servicewill continue to operate under their existing names and their customers will continue to receive services from them as they do now. But, over time, the new agency will help us to provide a more cohesive service to its customers which will aim to meet more of their needs in a joined up and seamless way.
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