§ John Cryer
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many people within the London Borough of Havering in receipt of home care services provided by the council were charged for those services in the(a) 12 months before and (b) after the introduction of Department of Health guidance, "Fairer Charging Policies for Home Care"; 
(2) if he will assess the impact of Department of Health guidance, "Fairer Charging Policies for Home Care", on service users within the London Borough of Havering; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Hutton
Information is not held centrally on the number of people within the London Borough of Havering, who were in receipt of home care services and were charged in the 12 months before and after the introduction of the guidance "Fairer Charging Policies for Home Care" and other non-residential Social Services. The impact of the Department of Health guidance on the London Borough of Havering's charging policies is a matter for the local council to assess.
The Department of Health issued statutory guidance to local councils for home care charges in November 2001. This guidance does not seek to change councils' power to charge, or not, but seeks to ensure that, where council's do charge, this will be based on fairer well designed charging policies. An important principle of the guidance is that charges should not reduce a person's income below basic levels of income support or the guarantee credit of pension credit plus a 25 per cent, buffer.