Just want the CSA to be fair

June 30, 2010

I have been paying CSA now for 11 years. Long story, I wont bore you with the details suffice to say that it was unplanned, well I wasnt planning, however she was and failed to tell, it was a mate of mine who gave me the heads up to say she wasnt on the pill. I confronted her with that information, she had previously told me she was on the pill, and the excuse was that she thought that she was unable to have kids… yes i know, i still should have worn protection.

However the deed was done, she had no interest in being with me, I had a DNA done to be on the safe side and started making payments. My first arreas bill was £1500 as it took 6 months to sort out. Strangley though the following year I had a letter saying my payments were increasing. And even though i was paying my arreas off, that had increased to over £2000. Naively i didnt do anything. The year after that i received another letter, this time it had been re-directed to me from my paybase, asking for my employer to give details of my pay. I should say that I was in the Royal Navy. I managed to make an appointment interview with the CSA office in the naval dockyard and was given some quite interesting information. Now its turns out that she was asking the CSA to perform a re-assessment as everyone knows that the Armed Forces have an annual payrise. Also i wasnt being asked to provide the information as they can have direct access to my pay records with the navy. In the space of 2 years my payments had gone from £200 a month to £350. I did ask if this was a breech of my data protection rights but was told no.

In 2003 i bought a house, was asked to be reassessed, which i was, and may payments was increased to £450 a month. So in the space of 4 years, my payments had doubled, however my pay hadn’t. Unfortunately for me i was posted to another part of the country at this point.

I complained through the proper channels and basically told, tough. The assessment was correct. So i tried to find out why my housing costs were not included, and this will make you laugh… because i was in the armed forces, and wasnt able to live in my house during the week (House in darlington, base in Yeovil)they wouldnt accept it as my primary residence. Ok, then do I get my food and accomodation taken in to consideration because i have to live on base during the week? NOPE….. They quoted me naval regulations that state “Married Men do not pay accomodation costs and only half the food costs” Fine, however I am not married, therefore I do pay full costs. Again was told tough. Even though my payslips showed that i paid the full costs. Also i was only entitled to £10 a week travelling costs. I had to sell the house. When I spoke to an CSA advisor on the phone i was told if i didnt like it tough, and if she wanted to, she would have every penny taken from my pay, and take my car off me and anything else that she could think of. also i asked that if the maitaince required was £90 a week, why was i paying £117 a week? I was told to keep her in the luxury that I had, mmmmm sleeping on a single bed in room 4ft x 10ft…. of wow the luxury. I made a complaint about her and her attitude. Safe to that I never heard anything of the complaint I made.

This was at the same time that the assessment system was being changed to the new easier calculations. When I asked when would i likley be moved, i was told it was only for new cases until the system was proved, however she did tell me that there was a way around it…… go and have more children…………………………

In 2006, I asked the question again and was told that this new easier calculation was still proving difficult for their computer system, and that if i go forth and breed more children, then i could change.

In 2007 i was medically discharged from the navy, and after medical assessment, I was awarded a war disability pension which is tax exempt for as far as i aware it is treated as a disability benefit, apart from the CSA, who see it as an income.

Again I asked the question about the new assessment scheme, and again was told the answer was children. If only my sex life was that interesting…….

So with my first job after the navy, my take home pay was £750 a month and my CSA payments were about £240 a month. after nearly a year i was made redundant, went self employed and after my first year did my self assessment. I didnt earn enough money to pay take, infact i was on the equvailent of £54 a week, my assessment came back, and i had to pay £220 a month, because my pension which is £514 a month, although not taxable, was classed an income, even though no other agency treats it like one. part of that payment is for arreas, about £27 a month. thats the minimum i was told i have to pay. again to be assessed under the new scheme, more children need, next time i will ask them to write that in a letter.

I did work out, that between 2003 and 2007 if i had been on the new assessment, it would have made £13,000 difference in those 4 years, i might have been able to keep my house.

Also the other way to get my maintainance reduced would be to have the child 4 nights a week!!! would that mean i was the PWC?????

I think I am pretty much like everyone else on here, I want to pay, but would like to see the system be fair to all. I know guys who avoid it like the plague, i know guys who pay but end up bankrupt because the system screws every penny out of them, and i also know woman who have a hard time getting the csa to work with them and also women who see it as another form of income. There was one girl in Catterick who had 3 kids by 3 different squaddies, who turned round to a friend of mine and said that she needed more money, went out got pregnant by another squaddie, so is in receipt of 4 different lots of Maintainence.

Ok, us blokes should have a bit more common sense, but not trying to sterotype, there are women out there, who can manipulate for their own ends, and they dont want their child to have a father.

At first when i found out she was pregnant, i tried to do what i thought was the descent thing, but she wasnt interested, she disappeared, and i have had no contact. The CSA cant tell me anything because of data protection and i dont have the money to get solicitors.

Hardest thing i have ever had to do was tell my mum. I have chalked this one up to experience, but it has affected me, i cant seem to maintain a relationship and have even asked ex’s to show me that they are taking the pill as well as me wearing protection.

I am not asking for sympathy, but if anyone has any advice or info, it will be gratefully received.

Comments

2 Responses to “Just want the CSA to be fair”

  1. Karen Bedford on July 1st, 2010 8:33 am

    Self employed – a lot go SE because they can play the system, i.e. get accounts showing they earn very little whilst they earn a lot, submit to the HMRC who then submit to the CSA, no checks are done, no one cares if they are right or wrong, even though is defrauding government agencies whilst people like me have to pay the correct amount of tax on my earnings each month whether I like it or not, whether I have enough money after that to pay the bills, etc.

    Unfortunately Labour let me and my family down in many ways, one way was to let woman go and have loads of children by many different men so they can earn a living out of the government through benefits or by some decent men/fathers who want to support their children in the proper fashion.

    I have suffered because of both the above and so have many others.

    I never thought I would say that I support this governments views on trying to stop both the above, 12 yrs Ive had to suffer this and it was a tory government who brought in the CSA without looking into it properly/setting it up properly to deal with all the problems and flaws it has.

    Its people like your ex PWC and people like mine NRP – people I use in the most lose term – who make others suffer!

  2. Chris on July 1st, 2010 5:20 pm

    I had no choice to go SE, i was made redundant at the begining of the recession. I live with my parents so i get the minimum back for board and lodgings. My books go through an accountant who does everything above board. I made less than £10,000 in my first year. Take off start up costs, travel expenses and running costs I came out with less than £4000. I would have been better off not working. I didnt do this to avoid paying, i still pay with my disability pension. I would Plus within the 2 years i had to take 12 weeks off work after surgery, none of which i get sick benefit for. If i had gone on the dole, the CSA would be getting less than they do now. Because any benefit i would receive would come off against my pension.

    I do know that when i turned round to the csa and asked for her to be re-assessed she was protected with tax credits. She knows when her tax credits are due, reduces her hours to make her look like she is on a low income, claims the tax credit and gives that information to the CSA. So she gets a double dip of the system.

    I worked out that i was paying nearer 40% than 30%, highlighted this to the CSA who said tough, no wonder people do things underhand to avoid paying. I want to pay for my child not everybody elses, so why if the state says maintanence is £90 a week why was i paying £120 a week???

    All i want is this new system to be in place for everyone, 15% for the first etc cause i am paying 30% it seems like they wont do this so everyone who is on the old system is making their books look better.

    I hav written to MP’s, DWP, and basically get a big F*** you. Thats the attitude you get with the CSA and any government department.

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