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In the 1991 Act, insert after section 28D—
(1)In determining any application for a departure direction, the Secretary of State shall have regard both to the general principles set out in subsection (2) and to such other considerations as may be prescribed.
(2)The general principles are that—
(a)parents should be responsible for maintaining their children whenever they can afford to do so;
(b)where a parent has more than one child, his obligation to maintain any one of them should be no less of an obligation than his obligation to maintain any other of them.
(3)In determining any application for a departure direction, the Secretary of State shall take into account any representations made to him—
(a)by the person with care or absent parent concerned; or
(b)where the application for the current assessment was made under section 7, by either of them or the child concerned.
(4)In determining any application for a departure direction, no account shall be taken of the fact that—
(a)any part of the income of the person with care concerned is, or would be if a departure direction were made, derived from any benefit; or
(b)some or all of any child support maintenance might be taken into account in any manner in relation to any entitlement to benefit.
(5)In this section “benefit” has such meaning as may be prescribed.”
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