To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will assess the merits of introducing a care costs payment for all carers, including those over state pension age.
The Government is spending record amounts on supporting carers, including those in Scotland, through the benefit system. Carer’s Allowance itself provides a measure of financial support and recognition for people who give up the opportunity of full-time employment in order to provide regular and substantial care for a severely disabled person.
Means tested benefits such as Income Support and Pension Credit include additional amounts for carers and are available to low income carers of working age and over state pension age respectively. The additional amounts mean that lower-income carers can be better off than others who receive these benefits.
Both Carer’s Allowance, and the additional amounts for carers, are paid in addition to the extra costs disability benefits (such as Attendance Allowance), which are designed to provide a contribution towards the extra costs that people with long-term health conditions and disabilities can face.