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Carer's Allowance

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the public purse of an annual increase in the earnings limit for carer's allowance of (a) £5, (b) £7.50, (c) £10, (d) £12.50, (e) £15, (f) £17.50, (g) £20, (h) £22.50 and (i) £25 in each of the next six years; (246724)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of increasing the earnings limit in carer's allowance by (a) £10 per week, (b) £20 per week and (c) £50 per week; and if he will estimate the number of people who would become entitled to the benefit in each case. (260121)

Robust evidence on the possible behavioural effects from adjusting the earnings limit for carer's allowance is not available and we are therefore not able to estimate accurately the costs for extending the earnings limit for the specified amounts.

We recognise the importance of supporting carers who want to combine work with caring. However, we also need to maintain a balance between the income of carers on benefits who can combine paid work with caring, and those who cannot.