HC Deb 18 July 1994 vol 247 cc49-50W
Mr. Bayley

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the Government's policy on the use of interest received on moneys held by the Child Support Agency; and whether this interest will be paid to parents caring for children.

Mr. Burt

As indicated in Mr. Hughes' letter to the hon. Member of 8 July, on behalf of Mrs. Hepplewhite, the Child Support Agency does not receive interest from the bank in respect of clients' funds temporarily held by the agency. Instead the agency's bank charges are abated. The administrative costs of attributing amounts of interest to individuals would be disproportionate to the typically small amounts of money involved. Clients of the agency benefit from the lower bank charges and the economy of effort through the consequent reduction in the agency's administrative costs, which is reflected in the level of the fees charged.

Dr. Lynne Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when he intends to publish comprehensive Child Support Agency literature incorporating the provisions in the February review.

Mr. Burt

The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for Ros Hepplewhite, the chief executive. She will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Ros Hepplewhite to Dr. Lynne Jones, dated 15 July 1994: I am replying to your recent Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security about Child Support Agency literature incorporating details of the effects on maintenance of the changes to legislation that were introduced in February. The Child Support Agency published a new edition of its main leaflet for the general public called for parents who live apart at the end of June. This leaflet incorporates the legislative changes that were made to the Child Support system in February 1994. In addition, whenever a maintenance assessment is completed by the Agency, the clients involved receive a leaflet called your child maintenance assessment which also incorporates details of the changes. A revised version of the comprehensive leaflet called a guide to child support maintenance will be published in due course. I hope you will find this reply helpful.

Mr. Kirkwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether members of his Department have discussed legislation covering the Child Support Agency with Parliamentary Counsel in the last three months.

Mr. Burt