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ABSENT PARENTS MUST CONTINUE TO PAY- WILLOTT

July 19, 2011 9:19 AM
Originally published by Jenny Willott MP

Jenny Willott, Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Committee on Work and Pensions, has today called for the Government to keep Deduction of Earnings Orders in place for Non-Resident Parents during changes to the child maintenance system.

Under the Government's plans to make the child maintenance system more effective, current cases will be closed and reopened on request, with parents being encouraged to make private arrangements rather than go through the Government.

However, there are concerns that parents with custody of children, who have fought their ex-partner for child maintenance for many years, will have to go through the process again. These parents could be left with no child maintenance in the meantime.

Speaking during Oral Questions to the Department for Work and Pensions, Jenny Willott called for the Government to maintain payments to these families.

Commenting Jenny said:

"I understand the Government's reasons for reforming child maintenance and encouraging families to set up private arrangements where possible, but this cannot mean that those who have been fighting to get support for years are left in the lurch.

"I am glad the Government has agreed to look at keeping Deductions of Earnings Orders in place so that children aren't left with nothing.

"I have been working with some families for years to help them get the money to which they are entitled, and to make sure absent parents pay their fair share. I feel very strongly that ending these Orders and starting all over again would give absent parents the chance to try and avoid their responsibilities all over again."