Monday, 20 December 2010

A right handy Mick

An open letter to the (possibly) imaginary Mick Hancock of the child support agency typed from my sick bed...

Dear Mick,

I am in receipt of your letters of 16 December (from Belfast) and 17 December (posted by your Crewe office but again bearing the address of the Birmingham one), received Saturday and Monday respectively. I'm particularly struck by your travelling prowess at a time of national transport chaos.

You never did explain to me, last time I asked, why you write so many letters to me, from three geographically disparate locations, why you never sign any of them, or why you never write me personal replies when I respond.

We didn't exactly hit it off at the outset, did we. I rang your lot to ask to set up maintenance payments, because my ex-wife was blackmailing me and demanding cash, and you responded with a letter telling me you had been told to make me cough up and threatening me with all sorts.

When I had the temerity to point out that your calculations were wrong, and that it is perfectly possible to set up a four-weekly direct debit, you hit me with a 'deduction from earnings order', without warning. You ignored my correspondence even when it was sent recorded delivery and signed for by your offices, and whilst I was on half pay, signed off work with depression caused by the woman you were raising money for, you saw to it that the majority of my reduced net income disappeared before I even received it. I continue to have to pay my employer a pound every pay day for this 'privilege'.

When I was blowing hundreds of pounds a month on train fare to see my son, receiving not a penny (contrary to court orders) from his mother towards this burden, you not only refused to exercise your right to net these costs off my maintenance burden but offered me a mere £7 a week off for having him to stay.

And so to the latest joke, your letters of this week.

The first, at three pages long, contains just five bespoke words that are not either case references, my address, the date, or standard content.

"Please confirm shared care details"

The second contained no free-form content whatsoever.

Now, you only know about a change because my ex-wife, or more likely her delightful Miss Piggy-lookalike solicitor, has rung you up to claim that I will be seeing less of my son and therefore should be paying more for the privilege. So why not come clean? Why not tell me what you think is the case, who told you, and when? Why not quote the court order that precipitated this request?

As usual, most of the standard content, of which I have lost count of the number of copies in my possession, is just about threatening me. Oh, and you gave me a total of three working days to comply. I am lucky to get a reply at all to my letters, and yet you threaten me with penalties up to and including imprisonment if I don't do as I'm told immediately.

Just as I was thinking of a suitable response to this, along comes your geographically-challenged second letter, saying that the day before, ie the day of the first letter, in which you asked me to confirm what was going on because you 'needed some further information' from me, you had 'considered' the matter and decided that things should stay the same. Where did this 'consideration' take place, since you were clearly on the way from Belfast to Crewe. Somewhere on the A55?

I have no doubt that if I take this to mean the matter is closed, I am likely to get in trouble, and you will start stealing extra money from me again, without warning.

So, by special delivery, so I can prove you recevied it, (because otherwise I might never know!) I attach a copy of District Judge Moon's order of 9 December for your edification. I can offer no further elucidation as to the practical manifestation of the order that my ex-wife 'shall' arrange contact, because whilst she has found the time to come cap in hand to you, she has not found the time to offer me any opportunity whatsoever to see my little boy. A bit like you guys, it's all about the money. In fact, you probably know more than I do. Isn't that lovely.

I can also tell you that as of this week, I am back to full time hours at work. I don't know the details, but you have gone behind my back to my employers in the past and I am not wasting my time finding out when I know you will do so again anyway.

I can hear your cash register jingling already.

I am now amongst the ranks of those whose MP is party to their dealings with the CSA. I am also now publishing your letters on the internet, so that the collective conscience of those who are not on your books might be stirred.

The ridiculous thing is, you had no reason whatsoever to give me a hard time, not least since I came to you in the first place - but I know that CSA isn't about facilitating fair payments, you are all about going for the Dads who pay and squeezing them for all you can get, in order to boost your figures and justify your own sordid existence.

Your dishonesty, incompetence, profligacy and rudeness will come back to bite you, and the women you act as menaces to demand money for.

Perhaps, 'Mick', you would like to give me a personal reply, signed by your own hand, to explain the existence of these two letters and the ridiculous waste of my time and taxpayers' money. I can think of a few more Dads who would like to join with me to meet with you to share our views of your disgraceful organisation. Your place(s) or ours?

Love from Daddy.

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