This Week #17

Monday (2nd May 2016)


Tuesday (3rd May 2016)

On Tuesday, Marion was in the constituency working from her office in the Dalziel Building. Full contact details for Marion’s constituency office can be found here, with information about surgeries here.

Wednesday (4th May 2016)


On Wednesday, Marion received a response from the Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions) in relation to a written question regarding the Child Support Agency and Child Maintenance Service.

Marion had asked:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what mechanisms his Department has put in place for redress and backdated payments to the parent with care in the event that it is found that the non-resident parent (a) provided false information about their income and (b) failed to inform the relevant body of an increase in their income under (i) the Child Support Agency scheme and (ii) the Child Maintenance Service scheme; and what the timescales are for such redress or payments.

The Minister’s response was as follows:

All three statutory maintenance schemes allow the Secretary of State to revise any maintenance liability decision found to be incorrect as a result of misrepresentation by either parent. There is no timescale within which the misrepresentation must be discovered, before a revision may be completed.

Under the 2012 scheme, in the first instance maintenance is assessed using historic income information from HMRC. Annual reviews are carried out using HMRC income data and liabilities are adjusted accordingly. Over the lifetime of a case changes to income should therefore be reflected appropriately.

Where an individual is assessed on current income, they are obliged to inform the Child Maintenance Service of any increase to their income of 25% or over. If they fail to do so and the Child Maintenance Service subsequently becomes aware of an increase in their income, the Secretary of State may still calculate a new assessment, taking effect at the point the income increased.

Any arrears that result from such “retrospective” action will nonetheless be due and CMS will take enforcement action if the Paying Parent does not arrange to pay them themselves. The CMS has a comprehensive range of enforcement actions at its disposal, to help ensure that parents fulfil their obligations.

All maintenance liability decisions carry an underlying right of appeal to an independent Tribunal.

Thursday (5th May 2016)


Thursday brought with it polling day for the Scottish Elections. Marion was out and about in the constituency campaigning for Clare Adamson as MSP for Motherwell and Wishaw and #BothVotesSNP.


Friday (6th May 2016)