Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill - continued        House of Lords
PART I, CHILD SUPPORT - continued
Variations - continued

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Applications for a variation: further provisions.     6. - (1) For Schedule 4A to the 1991 Act there shall be substituted the Schedule 4A set out in Part I of Schedule 2.
 
      (2) For Schedule 4B to that Act there shall be substituted the Schedule 4B set out in Part II of Schedule 2.
 
Variations: revision and supersession.     7. For section 28G of the 1991 Act there shall be substituted-
 
 
"Variations: revision and supersession.     28G. - (1) An application for a variation may also be made when a maintenance calculation is in force.
 
    (2) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide for-
 
 
    (a) sections 16, 17 and 20; and
 
    (b) sections 28A to 28F and Schedules 4A and 4B,

to apply with prescribed modifications in relation to such applications.
      (3) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide that, in prescribed cases (or except in prescribed cases), a decision under section 17 made otherwise than pursuant to an application for a variation may be made on the basis of a variation agreed to for the purposes of an earlier decision without a new application for a variation having to be made."
 
 
Revision and supersession of decisions
Revision of decisions.     8. - (1) Section 16 of the 1991 Act (revision of decisions) shall be amended as follows.
 
      (2) In subsection (1), for "of the Secretary of State under section 11, 12 or 17" there shall be substituted "to which subsection (1A) applies".
 
      (3) After subsection (1), there shall be inserted-
 
 
    "(1A) This subsection applies to-
 
 
    (a) a decision of the Secretary of State under section 11, 12 or 17;
 
    (b) a reduced benefit decision under section 46;
 
    (c) a decision of an appeal tribunal on a referral under section 28D(1)(b).
      (1B) Where the Secretary of State revises a decision under section 12(1)-
 
 
    (a) he may (if appropriate) do so as if he were revising a decision under section 11; and
 
    (b) if he does that, his decision as revised is to be treated as one under section 11 instead of section 12(1) (and, in particular, is to be so treated for the purposes of an appeal against it under section 20)."
Decisions superseding earlier decisions.     9. - (1) Section 17 of the 1991 Act (decisions superseding earlier decisions) shall be amended as follows.
 
      (2) In subsection (1), for paragraph (c) there shall be substituted-
 
 
    "(c) any reduced benefit decision under section 46;
 
    (d) any decision of an appeal tribunal on a referral under section 28D(1)(b);
 
    (e) any decision of a Child Support Commissioner on an appeal from such a decision as is mentioned in paragraph (b) or (d)."
      (3) For subsection (4) there shall be substituted-
 
 
    "(4) Subject to subsection (5) and section 28ZC, a decision under this section shall take effect as from the beginning of the maintenance period in which it is made or, where applicable, the beginning of the maintenance period in which the application was made.
 
      (4A) In subsection (4), a "maintenance period" is (except where a different meaning is prescribed for prescribed cases) a period of seven days, the first one beginning on the effective date of the first decision made by the Secretary of State under section 11 or (if earlier) his first default or interim maintenance decision (under section 12) in relation to the non-resident parent in question, and each subsequent one beginning on the day after the last day of the previous one."
 
 
Appeals
Appeals to appeal tribunals.     10. For section 20 of the 1991 Act (appeals to appeal tribunals) there shall be substituted-
 
 
"Appeals to appeal tribunals.     20. - (1) A qualifying person has a right of appeal to an appeal tribunal against-
 
    (a) a decision of the Secretary of State under section 11, 12 or 17 (whether as originally made or as revised under section 16);
 
    (b) a decision of the Secretary of State not to make a maintenance calculation under section 11 or not to supersede a decision under section 17;
 
    (c) a reduced benefit decision under section 46;
 
    (d) the imposition (by virtue of section 41A) of a requirement to make penalty payments, or their amount;
 
    (e) the imposition (by virtue of section 47) of a requirement to pay fees.
      (2) In subsection (1), "qualifying person" means-
 
 
    (a) in relation to paragraphs (a) and (b)-
 
      (i) the person with care, or non-resident parent, with respect to whom the Secretary of State made the decision, or
 
      (ii) in a case relating to a maintenance calculation which was applied for under section 7, either of those persons or the child concerned;
 
    (b) in relation to paragraph (c), the person in respect of whom the benefits are payable;
 
    (c) in relation to paragraph (d), the parent who has been required to make penalty payments; and
 
    (d) in relation to paragraph (e), the person required to pay fees.
      (3) A person with a right of appeal under this section shall be given such notice as may be prescribed of-
 
 
    (a) that right; and
 
    (b) the relevant decision, or the imposition of the requirement.
      (4) Regulations may make-
 
 
    (a) provision as to the manner in which, and the time within which, appeals are to be brought; and
 
    (b) such provision with respect to proceedings before appeal tribunals as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.
      (5) The regulations may in particular make any provision of a kind mentioned in Schedule 5 to the Social Security Act 1998.
 
      (6) No appeal lies by virtue of subsection (1)(c) unless the amount of the person's benefit is reduced in accordance with the reduced benefit decision; and the time within which such an appeal may be brought runs from the date of notification of the reduction.
 
      (7) In deciding an appeal under this section, an appeal tribunal-
 
 
    (a) need not consider any issue that is not raised by the appeal; and
 
    (b) shall not take into account any circumstances not obtaining at the time when the Secretary of State made the decision or imposed the requirement.
      (8) If an appeal under this section is allowed, the appeal tribunal may-
 
 
    (a) itself make such decision as it considers appropriate; or
 
    (b) remit the case to the Secretary of State, together with such directions (if any) as it considers appropriate."
 
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