The Benefit System

Government plans to double child maintenance payments

Government plans to double child maintenance payments

Ministers at the Department for Work and Pensions have announced that they will increase child maintenance payments.

Under the Government’s proposals parents on income related benefits, who do not live with their children, will see the amount that they will have to pay in child benefits double, from £5 a week to £10.

The Child Support Agency which required parents to share child costs even if they already split the cost of child care on a 50-50 basis will be scrapped.  Under the new system no maintenance will need to be paid in cases where child care is split equally.

Commenting on the proposals Work and Pensions minister Maria Miller said:

“The Government wants to encourage and support parents to make their own family-based arrangements whenever possible because they are better for families. (the new system) will be faster and simpler then the two Child Support Agency schemes now in operation.  And most importantly, it will be fairer for both mums and dads”.

The new scheme will be gradually introduced from October 2012 using a Pathfinder approach.

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