On Monday 21st March, Mary asked Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Therese Coffey, what the Government were doing in order to clamp down on those who were cheating the child maintenance system.
This comes after the National Audit Office recently published a report into the CMS which highlighted the growing amounts of money still owed to parents in child support.
Speaking in the chamber, Mary said
It’s welcome that the Government have proposed reforms to the Child Maintenance Service following the recent National Audit Office report highlighting the failures of the organisation.
Going on to ask Coffey
Can the Secretary of State tell me if the reforms will address the issues with self-employed fee-paying parents hiding their income, as well as concerns around previously uncooperative parents being moved off collect and pay after minimal evidence of compliance?
The response from the Secretary of State can be found below:
Well Mr Speaker, the Honourable Lady raises an important point and automatically all parents go into the Direct Pay process. I am working with my Noble Friend the Minister who has direct responsibility for this portfolio to see what we can do further to accelerate if people are clearly not being compliant in the regard of not paying. Meanwhile, our Financial Investigations Unit
will investigate where people are hiding money and as appropriate, if necessary, take people to court to make sure that this money does get paid.
Mary continues to stand up for the people of Durham in Westminster.