"Children First" & Second Family Children: Analysis of the issues and options
by Barry Pearson
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Examples 2: NRP on low pay or no pay

If the NRP has low pay or no pay the 2nd family is likely to be deprived (although this depends on the partner's earnings). It may appear that compensation for this is needed.

But in these cases the standard maintenance liability is £5, so no modification to the formula can make much difference. The problems of the 2nd household have to be catered for some other way.

Examples 3: Difficult cases

Example 3a: 2nd family with inflexible commitments

The NRP retains 85/80/75% of net income according to the standard formula. If a family really does cost 15/20/25%, this should normally be enough. But if the NRP has commitments (plus essential living expenses) that amount to the full 85/80/75%, there is no scope for a 2nd family (unless the new partner earns enough).

It is essential to avoid the impact of retrospective liabilities which drive the NRP into poverty (or worse) without time or options to adjust (as happened in 1993 with the current CSA scheme). Options include: apply a 2nd family modification for this case; or ensure that changes are phased-in over sufficient time for the NRP to adjust.

Example 3b: NRP has significant arrears

This is similar to example 3a, if there is no flexibility over the arrears. Perhaps similar options apply, or some arrears can be delayed or cancelled.

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Page last updated: 3 November, 2002 © Copyright Barry Pearson 1998