Wednesday, 31 December 2014

"Lorraine Pascale to become foster ambassador"

From the BBC:

TV chef Lorraine Pascale is to become the government's first fostering ambassador.

Pascale, who was fostered herself as a young child, has spoken about her background on a number of occasions. She has also campaigned for more support for foster children and their families.

1. I didn't know she was fostered. I shall add her to my mental list of 'famous/succesful people who were fostered/adopted' along with Paul Myners, Michael Gove and Jon Gaunt.

2. Fostering is a good example of not-joined-up government. Foster parents are given a certain (modest) sum of money each week for each child. Whether this is supposed to be a kind of salary (probably well below the National Minimum Wage) or merely a contribution towards the costs of looking after the children, I do not know.

But this income is taxable, so foster parents are supposed to declare what they've been paid as income and can deduct certain expenses (see HMRC guidance) to arrive at their taxable income. The resulting tax liabilities are usually a few hundred quid.

FFS. By all means, send somebody round to make sure that they are looking after the foster children properly, which includes spending a reasonable amount of money on them, but why claw back twenty or thirty per cent if they are not spending "enough"? Why not adjust the fostering payment to the net-of-tax amount and make it tax free, just like Child Benefit?


Sackerson said...

Good point. And fostering is massively beneficial and far better and cheaper than children's care homes.

Mark Wadsworth said...

S, thanks and agreed.

mombers said...

Wow, that really is shocking. How many people do they prosecute for not declaring I wonder?