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Committee recommends better deal for carers

A report by the The House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee has called on the government to provide better financial support and more support to Britain’s 6 million carers.

In its report ‘Valuing and supporting carers’ the Committee calls for carers benefits to be radically overhauled at the earliest opportunity. It recommends a two-tier support system for carers consisting of:

(i)  ‘Carer Support Allowance’ to be paid at the same level as Jobseeker’s Allowance and allowing similar levels of earnings as currently permitted under Carer’s Allowance. The benefit should not be means-tested.

(ii) ‘Caring Costs Payment’ available to all carers in intensive caring roles to compensate them for the additional costs of caring. This would be set at somewhere between £25-50 per week, similar to Child Benefit.

The Chairman of the Committee, Labour MP Terry Rooney said:

“DWP needs to provide adequate financial support for those who provide care when of working age, either by compensating them for the extra costs of caring, or, if they need to give up work to care, through adequate income replacement and pension protection mechanisms.”

Commenting on the Select Committee’s report, Imelda Redmond, Chief Executive of Carers UK said:

“We welcome the Committee’s acknowledgement that carers’ benefits are outdated and need urgent and radical reform. This cross-party report, informed by expert evidence, backs up what carers have been telling us. We argued for improvements to benefits as part of the Government’s Carers Strategy and were bitterly disappointed when none were included.

Carers UK estimate that carers make an unpaid contribution to society worth £87 Billion pounds.  The committee also recommended that public bodies ensure their policies do not exclude carers.

Valuing and supporting carers’ can be downloaded from the Work and Pensions Select Committee website. more...

Find out more about Carers UK’s campaign Real Change not Short Change. more...


Ends

Posted by Asif Yusuf

 

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