Oral Answers to Questions

Mark Hendrick Excerpts
Monday 5th February 2024

(4 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Jo Churchill Portrait Jo Churchill
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I point the hon. Lady to the further cost of living payments that will be going out this week to eligible households. We do not comment on future fiscal announcements.

Mark Hendrick Portrait Sir Mark Hendrick (Preston) (Lab/Co-op)
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7. What assessment he has made of the adequacy of the carer’s allowance for people who care for more than one person.

Mims Davies Portrait The Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work (Mims Davies)
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This is a particular area of interest for me as a former carer and as part of a caring family. It is important that we get the right balance. The flat weekly rate for the carer’s allowance has never been linked to the number of people being cared for. The weekly rate will increase to £81.90 from April, which is almost an extra £1,500 a year since 2010.

Mark Hendrick Portrait Sir Mark Hendrick
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The hundreds of thousands of carers up and down the country are the unsung heroes of our society, who do a fantastic job. Whether it is caring for elderly parents with dementia or sacrificing full-time work to care for a disabled child, carers play a critical role, easing the burden on health services. For most carers, care is a 24/7 job, and they cannot take full-time work because of it. When will the Government realise that £76, and now even £81.90, is measly and does not scratch the surface of what carers have to put up with and pay for, particularly when many carers are caring for more than one person?

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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I thank the hon. Gentleman for his point, which I appreciate as I have been in that situation of caring for two people. The primary purpose of the carer’s allowance is to provide a measure of financial support and recognition for people unable to work full time because of their caring responsibilities. I know there are very strong views on this. I am looking forward to meeting with Carers UK just after recess—I am afraid I cannot do so before, due to a funeral—and hearing the varying views and how we can continue to support our carers, who in every constituency and community do an amazing job.