Shared Lives Plus is celebrating a significant update to tax law, as the result of extensive discussions with government on behalf of Members – and announced in the Autumn Budget this week.
The new law ensures clarity that Shared Lives carers can continue to claim tax relief when they support people who pay for their own care. It confirms fairness in the tax relief for Shared Lives carers, whether they support people who pay for their own care, or whether councils or health authorities pay for it. Shared Lives Plus worked closely with government colleagues and other partners to secure national government policy that fully recognises the role and needs of Shared Lives carers – especially its Members.
We applaud HMRC and Treasury officials for listening to us and the sector on this issue and for recognising the benefits of growing Shared Lives as a cost-effective, community-based model of social care and increasingly healthcare. The Budget says government wants to “encourage the use of Shared Lives care” and we will continue to work with them to enable our Members to support people who need extra support to live well.
Many across the health and social care sector were disappointed that the Autumn Budget failed to tackle the gaping hole in long-term funding. We will continue to fight, alongside other organisations, for investment and change in the health and social care systems.
We are keen to work with government on drafting the relevant legislation for the new tax break - Qualifying Care Relief - to be as effective as possible. It will enable many more people who need extra support to use Shared Lives and live well and resolves a situation which could have financially penalised some Shared Lives carers. We are delighted that many more people who have support needs will be able to live well in the community as a result.
The relevant passage of the Budget is on page 33:
3.17 Qualifying Care Relief (QCR) and self-funded Shared Lives payments – QCR is a tax simplification covering expenses incurred when providing care that means carers only need to keep simple records. The government will extend the scope of QCR to cover self-funded Shared Lives care payments, to encourage the use of Shared Lives care.