HC Deb 05 April 2001 vol 366 cc274-5W
Dr. Cable

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what account has been taken of representations from fostering organisations about the impact on the recruitment and retention of foster carers of the Inland Revenue's proposals for taxing payments. [157069]

Mr. Hutton

Meetings have taken place between officials of the Inland Revenue, the Department of Health, representatives from the Association of Directors of Social Services, the National Foster Care Association, British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering, the Forum of Independent Fostering Agencies, plus other interested parties, such as accountants with relevant expertise in this area. The intention is to agree an appropriate and fair level of average allowable expenses to set against any income that a foster carer may receive from either a local authority or a fostering agency.

It has now been agreed that existing local arrangements will continue to apply until such time as a mutually acceptable agreement on average allowable expenses can be agreed. We hope this will be well in advance of 6 April 2002. We are committed to involving fostering organisations in this process.