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Carers

Volume 448: debated on Tuesday 4 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent discussions he has had with carers’ organisations about carers’ needs. (76781)

I last met representatives of Carers UK on 15 February and discussed a range of issues in connection with the needs of carers.

During the recent Carers Week I visited the Charlie Ratchford Centre in Camden to celebrate the launch of initiatives to help local carers and to discuss with them issues related to their needs.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate how many more people would be eligible for carer’s allowance if the gainfully employed rate was (a) raised to £168 per week and (b) abolished; and if he will make a statement. (80136)

The requested information is not available because there are no reliable data from which robust estimates might be obtained.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have lost their carer’s allowance as a result of reaching pensionable age in each of the last five years. (80447)

[holding answer 26 June 2006]: The information requested is not available. The information that is available is in the table. Carer’s allowance is payable to carers of state pension age who meet the conditions of entitlement to the allowance and do not receive a state pension, or where the weekly rate of state pension paid is lower than the weekly rate of carer’s allowance. In those cases a reduced rate of carer’s allowance is paid to bring the total amount of state pension and carer’s allowance paid up to the carer’s allowance weekly rate.

Carer’s allowance and state pension cannot be paid at the same time because both of them are non-income-related benefits designed to provide a degree of replacement for lost or forgone income.

In cases where these arrangements preclude the payment of carer’s allowance, the carer’s entitlement to the allowance gives them access to the carer premium, currently £26.35 a week, in the income-related benefits such as income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit and to the equivalent additional amount for carers in pension credit.

Carer’s allowance: number of women aged 60 and men aged 65 awarded a state pension from December 2001 to November 2005 who in the quarterly statistical period in which the award was made were recorded as entitled to, but not receiving payments of, the allowance

Quarterly statistical periods spanning (December to November)

Number1

2001-02

28,100

2002-03

10,740

2003-04

10,420

2004-05

10,140

1 Sum of figures for four quarterly statistical periods, rounded to the nearest 10.

2 Figure is for the period March 2002 to November 2002. Data are not available for the period December 2001 to February 2002.

Source:

Information Directorate Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.