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DWP announces new powers to recover child maintenance arrears

Government publishes response to consultation

New laws will be brought in to allow deductions to be made from joint accounts in order to recover child maintenance arrears, the Department for Work and Pensions has announced.

It is said that closing this loophole could stop a number of parents avoiding paying their child maintenance each year. This, it is claimed, could lead to more than £390,000 additional child maintenance being collected.

Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance Caroline Dinenage said:

"Our priority is for children to get the support they need. Only a small minority of parents try to cheat their way out of paying towards their children and this new power will be another tool to tackle those who do."

The government's response to a public consultation on joint account deductions has been published. This sets out how deduction orders against joint accounts will work and the safeguards that will be in place to protect the other holder of the joint account.

These include:

The new power will come into effect early next year.

For the response document, click here.