On the Gov.uk website, he launched a consultation which he said proposes changes that “aim to strengthen the current child support (CMS) service” which was introduced in 2012.
He released details yesterday of the differences he would like to make to the system, which he hopes could generate more money for parents.
Child support is the regular financial support provided by a separated parent to their child if they are not living with them. The amount and regularity of payment is normally agreed between the parents, but when an agreement cannot be reached, the Child Care Service (CMS) can step in to help.
The service would be there to offer support and advice to parents.
What changes does DWP want to make?
It is hoped that the new proposals will provide more money for single parents. These changes would ensure that unearned income such as dividends and income from rental properties would automatically be included in the income calculations of paying parents.
DWP has listed all of the changes the proposals would allow, including:
- Unearned income held by HMRC should be included in CMS calculations alongside earned income from paying parents
- Proof requirements for independent parents should be relaxed when a change that has violated the income tolerance has been reported
- Small volumes of low value receivables to be extinguished when the value of the receivable is significantly lower than the cost of its collection
- Arrears to be settled when: child support has been deducted from a parent’s income when their employer has gone into receivership and DWP is unable to collect the unpaid arrears from the insolvency trustee companies
- All CMS notifications to send, receive and access digitally
- The following organizations should provide information when requested in a timely manner: private pension organizations, academy owners, the Office of Automobile Insurers, and all types of businesses that offer, promote or sell management services investment or facilitate stock trading.
DWP Minister Baroness Stedman-Scott commented on the issue, saying, “If we want to give children the best start in life, then money matters.
“These powers mean that we can access all kinds of income, freeing up more money for children of separated parents.
“Including rental property income and dividends also helps us fight parents who use complex financial arrangements to deliberately hide their income in order to avoid paying for their children. “
The proposals are currently undergoing a consultation, which means that the responses will be taken into account.
This consultation is open to organizations in the non-profit sector, as well as to CMS clients and the general public.
This consultation applies to England, Wales and Scotland, although comments from all over the UK are welcome.
For more information on what exactly child support counseling means and how it might affect you, click here.
To respond to the consultation, write to the DWP Consultation Coordinator, 3rd Floor South, Zone D, Quarry House, Quarry Hill. Leeds, LS2 7UA.
Or by e-mail: [email protected]