HC Deb 23 March 2000 vol 346 c664W
Mr. Edward Davey

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many representations he has received from(a) individuals and (b) organisations expressing concern about the £10 levy for the criminal record checks; what plans he has to lower this charge in respect of inquiries by charities and voluntary organisations; and if he will make a statement. [115923]

Mr. Charles Clarke

We have received a substantial number of letters from individuals and organisations on this matter. When the Criminal Records Bureau comes into operation, it will be expected to recover its costs through charges for the certificates that it will issue, on application, to individuals. It will be for employers and organisations to decide whether to reimburse the cost. Until the Bureau's operating costs have been determined, it will not be possible to fix the charges, but the cost has previously been estimated at between £5 and £10, depending upon the type of certificate. We have no plans to lower the charge in respect of those applying from the voluntary sector. This presents substantial problems of principle and would inevitably increase costs for the public purse or for other applicants for certificates. We have made clear our determination to keep the cost as low as possible.