Ruffley: 'Government Failure Inflicts Additional Costs on Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket and Needham Market Charities, Schools and Care Homes'

Friday, 12 December, 2003

The cost of an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check will rise to £33 next April, after an increase from £12 to £29 last July.

David Ruffley said, 'The Government's decision to increase the fee charged by the Criminal Records Bureau for carrying out checks on job applicants is shocking. This will be the second rise in less than a year.

'These checks are mandatory for teachers and care workers. When we look at the reasons for this exorbitant rise, it is clear that it is a result of the Government's failure to manage this Agency.

'Astoundingly Home Office minister, Hazel Blears MP, has also unveiled draft regulations proposing that schools and hospitals should become responsible for ensuring the identity of applicants and the correct completion of forms, making them pay an annual fee of £300 for their own work.

'Whilst I agree that checks must be made on employees, it is dreadful that just nine months after the doubling of the cost of criminal records checks a further increase of 17 per cent can be forced upon our already overstretched local voluntary and community organisations. I am concerned that such huge price rises could jeopardise the future of many local charities whose budgets are already stretched to breaking point.'