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Our work on Welfare reform - Carers UK Forum

Our work on Welfare reform

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
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As well as being a membership, advice and support charity for carers, we also do campaigning and Parliamentary work.

We're very concerned that some of the changes in the Welfare reform Bill will have a serious impact on carers. The changes to DLA and the benefits cap will hit some families hard. We're lobbying and campaigning hard, working to inform and brief peers as the Bill goes through the House of Lords.

Find out more about what our concerns are and how we are working in Parliament to try and get the Bill changed.
Welfare Reform Bill: Carers UK actions
Whilst Carers UK warmly welcomed the Government’s decision not to introduce a means-test for
Carer’s Allowance by drawing it into Universal Credit, we have a number of ongoing concerns about the impact of the Welfare Reform Bill on carers, which we have taken action on.

Personal Independence Payment and Carer’s Allowance


Carers UK continues to be concerned about the lack of clarity on how eligibility for Carer’s Allowance will be established when Disability Living Allowance is replaced by the new Personal Independence Payment.

We have directly raised carers’ concerns with officials and Ministers and briefed Peers with carers’
concerns, personal stories and our research on carers’ finances. Peers of all parties have repeatedly
raised these carers’ concerns in Parliament and, as a result, the Government has brought forward the announcement of further details of how Carer’s Allowance passporting will work. We will scrutinize these details and continue to press for commitments that Personal Independence Payment reforms will not leave carers worse off:

· The three levels of the Disability Living Allowance care component (lower, middle and higher)
are being replaced by two levels (standard and enhanced) of a ‘daily living’ component of
Personal Independence Payment. We do not yet know if both levels will act as a gateway to
Carer’s Allowance but are concerned that if only the enhanced rate does so, then substantial
numbers of carers could lose Carer’s Allowance.

· Currently no link is made between Carer’s Allowance and Personal Independence Payment in
the Welfare Reform Bill. We have argued that this must be made clear in the Bill, and not
relegated to regulations which will be published later and carry less weight.

· The £2.17 billion cut to the budget for Disability Living Allowance could also mean that, as
significant numbers of disabled people lose their benefits, carers supporting them could lose
Carer’s Allowance.

These are crucial decisions and we are working with Peers to ensure these points are raised at the
next stage of Parliamentary debate.

Benefit cap
We worked with Peers to table an amendment to the Bill to exempt carers from the proposed cap onhousehold benefits. Under current plans carers caring for a disabled partner or a child under 18 in
receipt of Disability Living Allowance would be exempt from the cap, but other carers could see their benefits capped at £350 a week for a single person, or £500 a week for couples and lone parents.

Carers UK believes that this could have a serious impact on families in high-cost housing areas,
particularly families with several children. We have stated very clearly that applying the cap to carers is illogical and deeply unfair, particularly because the Government has said that the cap is designed to apply people who are not working hard or making a full contribution to society. We worked with Members of the House of Lords to ensure these points were made strongly to the Government as the benefit cap was debated. However the Government did not accept this amendment and we are working with Peers to table this amendment again at the next stage of debate.

Earnings disregard
Carers UK is concerned that some carers on means-tested benefits may be worse-off than they are
currently if they juggle work and care, because of a reduction in the ‘earnings disregard’ for single
people (the amount of earnings you can have before your benefits begin to be reduced).

Carers UK has expressed disappointment that these carers could be amongst the only groups for
whom work incentives are worsened by the Welfare Reform Bill. We provided modeling of the impact on carers’ incomes which Peers raised in debate however this amendment was also not accepted by the Government, and Peers will return to the issue in the next few weeks of debate.

The Hardest Hit campaign
In addition to this work with parliamentarians, Carers UK continues to help lead the Hardest Hit
campaign against cuts to the benefits of disabled people and their families. For more details, visit
www.hardesthit.org.uk
Above briefing can be downloaded at
http://www.carersuk.org/professionals/r ... ing-update
Thanks Matt, a lot of food for thought there.
As a p/t working carer, I would willingly exchange my underlying right to claim Carers Allowance with an increase in my tax-free allowance at an equivelant value in cash terms, thereby having a lot less paperwork to worry about. I dont especially want to claim benefits and I dont define myself as a carer because of carers allowance, far from it, as my caring role has remained constant through periods that I have been able to claim and periods that I havent.
Matt Carers UK-have CUK responded to this?

http://dwp.gov.uk/consultations/2011/su ... rest.shtml
Golly, just when you thought this government couldn't get any s***tier.
I read this on the day on which it was published, two things immediately struck me:

The cost of the interest payment on a repayment mortgage will be substantially lower than the cost of full HB for the majority of social housing tenants and LHA for the majority of private rented sector tenants so homeowners will usually cost the taxpayer less than those who rent.

If benefit claimants are to pay interest and an admin charge on the MI payments and have a second charge placed on their property surely buy-to-let landlords who rent to claimants and use LHA to pay their mortgage and make a profit should be treated in the same way.

Incidentally, I note that the government is not proposing that they bear their share of the burden of negative equity, rather they propose to increase the burden on the homeowner by taking out an additional charge on the property.

And Charles, I would not underestimate this government, I am sure that they have other, equally sh*****, proposals which they have yet to announce.
And Charles, I would not underestimate this government, I am sure that they have other, equally sh*****, proposals which they have yet to announce.
I dont think they will rest till they tax the very air that we breathe Image

Image
And Charles, I would not underestimate this government, I am sure that they have other, equally sh*****, proposals which they have yet to announce.
I dont think they will rest till they tax the very air that we breathe Image

Image
I do not think that they will rest until some of us stop breathing Image .
Well, this mob certainly learnt from Ebenezer Scrooge: "they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population" Image Image Image
re. the consultation on IS SMI-do they even read their own templated justifications.

Disability /caring responsibilities are temporary conditions?Incentive to work for people deemed not expected to and/or pensioners?Making people" financial responsible" when they have already adapted to substantial loss of income,possibly two incomes?

Patronising ,falsely economical(they even state that people will move-adapted homes etc?),petty politicians.