Special expense variations – Impact Assessment

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Dear DWP

You have published a PDF entitled “Impact Assessment – The Child Support Maintenance Calculation Regs 2012” on the gov website here:

The lead department/ agency is shown as “DWP: Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission”

At point 57 you say:

A non-resident parent can apply for a variation which takes account of special expenses not accounted for in the calculation, for example, paying off a debt which was incurred while still with the parent with care. Under the current rules a special expense applies only to the balance of the weekly cost above £10 (where the non-resident parent is on the reduced rate) or in some cases £15 (where the non-resident parent is on the basic rate). Under the proposed regulations this is replaced so that for each expense, a variation will not be allowed if the cost is less than £10, but if it exceeds that amount, a variation will be given for the full amount.

Between point 167 and 171 you address variations specifically but there is no mention of special expenses beyond what you say in point 171 where you say:

“Allowing contact costs as well as a reduction in maintenance for shared care during the same period will result in a small cost to the parent with care, although case scenarios have shown that the difference in liability is minimal. “

In point 179 you say:

“Therefore £1 to a parent with care equates to the same as £1 to a non-resident parent.”

and in point 180 you clarify this further by saying:

“Therefore for any cost to parents listed above there is an equal benefit to the other parent. That is, a change in liability is either a cost to the parent with care and a benefit to the non-resident parent or vice versa. “

I would therefore ask you to please provide copies of the case scenarios that you refer to in point 171.

The DWP responded to say:

The published report you are referring to was created late 2011; due to the time frame under the Records Management Policy, we no longer hold the case scenarios used to support point 171.

Why are the DWP still referring to reports and case scenarios that they now say they no longer have access to?

With such an important document on the impact analysis of their own calculations you would have expected the DWP to have hung on to the case scenarios that they used as the basis for their policy making.





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