To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
(1) if he will increase the level of the carer's allowance to £65.45 per week;
(2) if he will increase the carer's allowance earnings threshold to £150 per week.
The Government have no immediate plans to increase the level of carer's allowance or the carer's allowance earnings limit.
We have set out our commitment to modernise and simplify the benefit system in order to improve work incentives and encourage responsibility and fairness. We will consider carefully the needs of carers as we develop our thinking on welfare reform.
The Chancellor announced in the emergency Budget that from 2011 the Consumer Price Index (CPI) will be used to measure the growth in prices for the purposes of uprating carer's allowance. In keeping with its promise to protect people in the most vulnerable situations the Government will not implement the previous Government's policy of clawing back the 1.5% 'advance' that was applied to carer's allowance in April 2010.
We believe that the CPI is a more appropriate and stable measure of the cost of living for recipients of carer's allowance. Under that index carer's allowance would have received an increase in 2010, not simply an 'advance' of future potential increases.