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Child Maintenance Service extended to all applicants with two or more children

Gradual roll-out of service continues

The new Child Maintenance Service (CMS) has opened to new applicants with two or more children.

Work and Pensions Minister Steve Webb said:

"The Child Maintenance Service is progressing well and has reached the next stage of its delivery. Caseworkers report that the system is easier to use and, for the first time, HM Revenue & Customs wage data is being used to calculate payments.

"We are learning from the past and avoiding the big-bang approach of the CSA. In the last eight months parents with four or more children have been using the system. We are now rolling it out gradually, first to new applicants with 2 or more children and then to all new applicants."

The government is investing up to £20m into support services for separated families, after over half of those surveyed in the CSA said they could come to their own arrangements with the right help and support.

The CMS is designed to target the most difficult cases. It will be able to use new enforcement fines to encourage parents to pay what they owe.