Child maintenance evaders targeted by new bill

family law

A private member’s bill on child maintenance evasion has received its first reading in the House of Commons.

Heidi Allen is the Tory MP for South Cambridgeshire. She introduced the Child Maintenance Income Assessment Bill under the Ten Minute Rule Procedure. It aims to “equalise the assessment and enforcement of child maintenance arrangements of children of self-employed parents with that of children of other employed parents”.

Earlier this year the Parliamentary Work and Pensions Committee conducted an enquiry into the child support system in England and Wales, concluding that the Child Maintenance Service was still too tentative in its approach to the issues.

Amongst the issues discussed were non-resident parents who use their self-employed status to disguise their true earnings and thus pay less maintenance than they should, according to the Committee.

Mrs Allen led the enquiry and was inspired to draft her bill after the Committee found the government’s response to the bill lacklustre.

The MP explained:

“When parents split up, the child maintenance service can help parents work out a fair payment schedule for the child. When the split is amicable and sensible, this system works well. But if the paying parent wants to avoid paying, they can do so all too easily and all too often, by hiding behind self-employed status. By hiding their income, not only are they denying their child the financial support they deserve, they are also defrauding HMRC and often forcing the parent with care onto benefits.”

She continued:

“This is a double hit to the tax payer. The country loses out on tax and instead pays out to support the receiving parent.”

The bill will now move to a second reading on 23 February.

Photo by Josh Hallett via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

Stowe Family Law Web Team

View more from this author

8 comments

rumb - November 29, 2017 at 8:32am

Hurray Hurray ! about time. Private diesel, private clothes, private car repairs , employees getting private diesel paid on company petrol cards. Not even touching on the ‘cash, no invoice’ scenario.
I am sick and tired of ‘we have no jurisdiction’. apply for a tribunal that can take up to six years plus, and is the most soul destroying thing you can ever do. Reform so overdue . Good luck ladies. The system is designed to push away the resident parent and very un informative . I learn’t about a tribunal through the internet, and at no point was given details at how the ridiculous process works. At every opportunity the staff at Hastings told me that it is the most difficult thing to prove. I have prove. They might as well say ‘go away, give up now’.

Helen Dudden - November 29, 2017 at 8:54am

I agree that children should be taken care of properly. It’s not fair to the child/children that a parent is not taking responsibility and funding seriously. This applies to children in other countries, with parents residing in another country.

Andrew - November 29, 2017 at 8:55am

It’s a Ten Minute Rule Bill, a way of drawing attention to the issue rather than a way of getting the law changed. It will probably never even be drafted out and printed and if it is it will be blocked by a Whip calling Object at 2.30 on 23 February. It’s not a suitable subject for a Private Member’s Bill.

.
The problem is that many NRP debtors are multiple debtors and it isn’t obvious why this debt comes ahead of other debts. We need some method of sharing out what there is equitably – and what can’t be paid must be written off.

Andy - November 29, 2017 at 8:07pm

When parents split up, the child maintenance service can help parents work out a fair payment schedule for the child. When the split is amicable and sensible, this system works well. But if the paying parent wants to avoid paying, they can do so all too easily and all too often, by hiding behind self-employed status. By hiding their income, not only are they denying their child the financial support they deserve, they are also defrauding HMRC and often forcing the parent with care onto benefits.”

This part above, is the biggest joke to what I can only describe as a idiot amongst idiots..
So when parents split up does she really think it’s amicable… Who voted this idiot in..
Yet again the paragraph states when the parent wants to avoid paying… What it should point out yet again the kicked out father is hounded by the CMS that demands a GROSS calculation of his earnings and gives it tax free the the Gold digger parent who usually lies om all levels of finance then alienates the booted out father…
So where is the shared care in the system, no where, just take take take from the NRP father and to live like a dog if he can scrape a life back..
What the incompetent CMS think that we don’t believe anything the father says but agree with the lieing mother and of course all benefits are claimable..
So we never hear of any support for father groups but just silence and just keep paying.
What’s more so bloody what if your choice of work is self employed.. The idiot chose to be an over paid MP see how much she has claimed on allowances and of course 12 months service as MP equates to full pension benefit.. The rest of us have to do 40 years… So don’t bleet about what the idiot MP wants but only to gain support to stay in office…

James - November 29, 2017 at 8:32pm

This article gives a very good dissection of the misrepresentations in the Bill. It does not deserve a Second reading and is nothing but shameless political point scoring.

voiceofthechild.org.uk/child-maintenance-assessment-income-bill-2017-19/

G - December 17, 2017 at 6:02pm

My daughter’s ex has been in a fixed term contract at a fixed rate of pay equal to £185,000 a year. Despite the FIXED terms of his contract his assertions that his income has fallen by 25% TWICE in the last 12 months have been accepted without question by CMS. They say if he’s not believed, report him to HMRC fraud team. They want proof even though the proof is inherent in the false assertions. So whilst the ex moves into his £850,000 house, and drives his £85,000 ‘67 plate Mercedes and lives with his next pregnant victim, my Daughter is forced into benefits. I support any new system for uncovering his fraudulent and immoral lies.

g - December 17, 2017 at 7:53pm

And the Bill must include a clause asset stripping con men CMS evading fathers of all their assets for the benefit of the child and to repay the State the benefits paid out to cover their evasion.

M - December 19, 2017 at 5:14am

The whole system in regards to csa/cms Self Employed iNrp (iresponsible parent) in our case has been set up to pay peanuts (if that) in many cases causing poverty for Children and the remaining parent a disgraceful, backwards, out of date, fraudulent laughable service if you can call it that.

Leave a comment