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Carers: Tax

Volume 716: debated on Wednesday 27 January 2010

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they are considering introducing tax breaks for long-term carers with definite commitments. [HL1372]

The Government keep all areas of tax policy under review. At the 2009 Pre-Budget Report, the Government announced an improvement in the tax arrangements for carers looking after vulnerable individuals under a qualifying “shared lives” scheme (also known as adult placement carers). From 6 April 2010, shared lives carers will receive a tax-free allowance for their caring income similar to the current foster care relief.

The Government also took action to ensure, from the date of the Pre-Budget Report, that there is no loss of capital gains tax private residence relief where adult placement carers use part of their home exclusively for the accommodation of an adult in care.

In addition, to help carers balance work with caring responsibilities, the Building Britains Recovery White Paper (published in December 2009) announced that the Government will carry out a consultation on how we can help individuals meet their caring responsibilities while remaining in employment. It also announced raising the earnings limit within the carer’s allowance from £95 a week to £100 a week to increase work incentives for carers.

The Government also published a revised national carers strategy in June 2008. Key components of the new strategy will ensure that carers have increased choice and control, and are empowered to have a life outside caring. They are investing over £255 million to ensure that the new strategy is implemented.