HC Deb 05 December 1989 vol 163 c120W
Mr. Steen

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take steps to exempt from the community charge elderly people who are being looked after in private homes and who would otherwise require residential or nursing care at public expense.

Mr. Chope

No. Any elderly person being looked after in the community will be eligible for community charge benefit in their own right if they meet the income and capital requirements of the benefit scheme. Benefit can cover up to 80 per cent. of the community charge bill, and any elderly person receiving income support will have included in it an amount reflecting the fact that they have to pay the other 20 per cent. Thus, there should be no financial incentive for people caring for elderly relatives to seek to place them in residential or nursing care. We have recently announced changes in the regulations to ensure that people being cared for in the community will receive the same relief from the standard community charge as those in residential care homes.

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