The Executive is taking a considerable amount of action, not only in financing existing care home places, but in subsidising the creation of new care home places. Since July 2001, we have provided £130 million to the sector and there will be considerable additional finance in the years to come. We engage constantly in negotiations to reach agreement on the appropriate level of fees so that we do not pay more than required and simply line the pockets of others and so that we can ensure that care home places are properly funded and can be filled.
A combination of services provided by local authorities, by the Church of Scotland and other voluntary providers and by the private sector should be decided at a local level in a way that is most appropriate for the local community and people in the area. That is by far the best way forward. The matter cannot be set out in great detail and determined at a national level; it is right for local authorities to take the lead and for us to provide additional funding. Everybody should be involved in the discussions to secure the best possible way of providing care home places in the future.