Wales to get rid of registration fees

Registration fees for a range of  service providers in Wales look set to be scrapped.

Under plans unveiled by Welsh deputy minister for older people, John Griffiths, services including children’s homes and care homes for older people will no longer have to pay thousands of pounds a year each to register with inspection agencies under the Care Standards Act 2000.

The move, which still needs to be approved by assembly members, would lead to fees – which can be up to £2,000 for a 40-bed home – being abolished in April 2006.

Griffiths said the move would cut bureaucracy and help end the “financial merry-go-round” where the assembly collects fees from councils and other organisations but has to ensure they are properly funded to meet this cost. “In practice, the assembly gives the funding to local authorities and then asks them to pay the same amount back to the assembly through fees. This will greatly simplify the present arrangements,” he added.

Barry Latham, policy adviser for care home umbrella body Care Forum Wales, said the assembly’s move was “sensible”.

He added: “One of the proposals it was looking at last year was to put up fees by 600 per cent, so scrapping the fees to save the transactional costs is more logical.”

Raymond Ciborowski, director of Barnardo’s Cymru, said savings from the move would feed directly into front-line services.

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