Petition Closed

Eradicate the Child Maintenance Service (Legal Loophole)

This petition had 433 supporters

Eradicate the legal loophole in the child maintenance service

Loopholes in the Child Maintenance Service  mean that non-resident parents are paying a fraction of what they should. The CMS is supposed to calculate and, when necessary, enforce the payments that children need. But the recent reforms have instead prioritised administrative convenience over all other concerns. This has led to a situation  where desperate parents are repeatedly being let down by a system that seems designed to be as unhelpful and opaque as possible.

the decision to base the child maintenance calculation on gross taxable earnings or profits as reported to the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has had widespread repercussions. One common issue is that paying parents with often considerable assets can end paying a bare minimum, since several sources of income are not taken into consideration. In other cases, self-employed parents are able to get away with under-reporting their income in order to reduce their payments.

Ironically, the CMS was set up to replace an ailing predecessor, the Child Services Agency (CSA), which was shut down due to being widely regarded as not-fit-for-purpose. But for a significant minority, the new method of calculating child maintenance is still not working.

There needs to be an urgent review in closing the loophole in the law which allows the self employed or an owner of a company to under play earnings to avoid paying child support or a very small amount.

There are many parents who believe they are receiving less than their children's entitlement frequently complain about being stonewalled by the CMS, or being kept in the dark about their options. The new child maintenance service also allows non resident parents to submit projected earnings, which means they can literally make up what they earn to CMS in an effort to pay the minimum amount of child support possible.

We need to challenge these loopholes and put an end to these loop holes in  the system. Non resident parents are literally manipulating the system.

This is nothing short of fraud by non resident parents who are wilfully neglecting their children, which means many single parents are living in poverty as a direct result of not receiving maintenance payments for their children or very little.

The CMS must visibly up its game, to get fair support for parents in the most difficult circumstances, and to send a clear signal that avoiding responsibility for your children is unacceptable. We have to remember that the evasion of child support under the guise of ever-changing "self-employment" is also an evasion of tax.

This loophole not only is causing single parents hardship but it is also affecting the tax payer.

We are calling for this matter to be discussed in parliament with a view to closing this loophole urgently. Benefits of stopping this fraud will be:

Less children living in poverty; A better standard of living for single parent families; Less tax evasion by those self employed.

How can we eliminate this loophole: 

Closer working relationships between CMs, HMRC and DWP

Regular inspection of documents such as bank statements, company profit as well as regular unannounced visits to the non resident parents house to ascertain if lifestyle is consistent with alleged earnings.

Abolish  projected earnings and only consider legal legitimate tax returns as a basis for working out child maintenance payments

Undertake enforcement action through the courts as soon as the financial limit of £500 is reached and put an end to empty threats.

To criminally prosecute those who consistently fail to make child maintenance payments through the criminal courts.

Please sign the petition and help our children give them the financial support they deserve.

Today: rebecca is counting on you

rebecca robinson needs your help with “Andrew Lewer MP: Eradicate the Child Maintenance Service (Legal Loophole)”. Join rebecca and 432 supporters today.