Voluntary groups, politicians and care homes have hit out at the
government’s announcement that the Criminal Records Bureau is to
raise its fees for the second time in less than a year.
From next April, the cost of applying for a standard CRB check will
rise from £24 to £28 and an enhanced one from £29 to
£33. This follows a doubling of fees in July.
The government is also planning to charge the 11,000 registered
bodies accredited by the CRB £300 a year to apply for checks,
and to force them to take on greater responsibility for ensuring
information provided by applicants is accurate.
Sheila Scott, chief executive of the National Care Homes
Association, said she found the increase “just amazing so soon
after the previous one”. She also called for the CRB to review
application forms, which she said were too complex.
Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Paul Burstow predicted that
the 18 per cent fee increase was unlikely to be the last, while
chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations
Stuart Etherington said the “unacceptable” price rises would cost
charities millions of pounds.
A Home Office spokesperson said the changes were needed as one in
four applications were returned because there was something wrong
with them. The CRB said the fee increase was needed to offset a
halving in the amount it received as a subsidy from the government.