‘Extend service user charges’ says report

Charges for people using public services, including social care, should be extended to raise some of the extra revenue needed to meet future demand, a new report suggests.

The Social Market Foundation study also says better off parents should pay contributions towards a national school bus scheme to ensure all children have a choice of school.

Parents who could not afford to pay would be given a full subsidy to ensure equal access, the report on co-payments and user charges in UK public services says.

Councils should also consider asking parents to pay higher “voluntary” contributions towards non-core education services, such as school meals, an essay in the report suggests.

But, essay author Professor Stephen Bailey of Glasgow Caledonian University, said low-income parents whose children already received free meals should be protected from higher charges.

He pointed out that school meal services might have to raise charges to meet guidelines on healthy eating in schools.

  • Charging Ahead? Spreading the Costs of Modern Public Services from www.smf.co.uk

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