WARNING : Rise In Minimum Wage Due ! Limit NOW Increased To £ 123 ! No DP Increase = Less Care For Same Monies

All about money
Just to record the discussions of tinkering with THE LIMIT from one of the Bibles out there ... Select Committee on Work and Pensions Fourth Report , June 2007 ... 11 years ago :

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/c ... /48506.htm


( First bit = background ... second bit = the argument. )

Impact of caring on earnings income

101. Caring has a considerable impact on carers' income. A Carers UK survey of 3000 carers found that 72% were worse off since becoming a carer. Carers UK stressed that despite improvements in several areas of policy aimed at improving carers' incomes and helping them to combine caring with paid work, too many carers are struggling financially.[80]

102. One in five carers gives up work to care and Carers UK research has found that carers had lost out on an average of £11,000 each year as a result of giving up work, reducing their hours or taking a more junior position.[81] The National Family Care Network stressed that economic losses are also incurred by carers as a result of the loss of pension contributions during working age and as a result of the cost of living with a disability.[82]

103. Carers UK believe that an additional factor is carers' inability to move themselves out of poverty without significant additional support, and therefore the potential for this poverty to be longstanding.[83] Ms Pearlman of Citizens Advice Bureau agreed that this is what distinguishes carers from other groups living in poverty: "carers are in a unique position where they find it almost impossible often to earn their way out of debt or other money problems because of their caring responsibilities."[84]

104. In its Carers Strategy, the Government highlighted figures which show that while carers are no more likely to be living in poverty than the general population, they do tend to have lower incomes.[85] This finding is based on a comparison of carers (of all ages) with 'non-carers'. However, detailed analysis of the DWP HBAI (Households Below Average Incomes) data on which this is based reveals the importance of age and intensity of caring as contributory factors in poverty amongst carers and highlights the need for more sophisticated analysis. [86] Among those aged 25-34, carers (often caring for sick or disabled children) are more likely to be at risk of poverty than non-carers (19% compared with 13% before housing costs; 11% compared with 8% after housing costs). By contrast, among those aged 75 and over, those who provide care are less likely (14% compared with 24% before housing costs; 7% compared with 14% after housing costs) to be in poverty than non-carers of the same age (among whom many are sick or disabled themselves). [87]

105. Those caring for more than 20 hours per week are more likely to be in poverty than the general population. Those caring for 35-50 hours per week are even more likely, with significant levels also faced by those caring for more than 50 hours who are not receiving Carer's Allowance. While the evidence in Figure 7 suggests that Carer's Allowance makes a modest contribution to reducing poverty among carers, further exploration of this data is needed to examine how far the differences shown are related to uneven take-up of this benefit; ineligibility for CA when the cared for person or persons are not recipients of relevant benefits themselves; and issues relating to age, which (as shown above) needs to be carefully taken into account to avoid drawing misleading conclusions from this data.[88]

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106. Many submissions stressed that no carers should be living in poverty, given that they are fulfilling an important social function and that the value of the care provided has been estimated at £87 billion per annum.[89] Carers UK was critical that the Government says that it values the work that carers do, yet it has not committed itself to a targeted anti-poverty strategy for carers. It suggests that an anti-poverty strategy for carers would help the Government meet its target of eliminating child poverty by 2020.[90]



CARER'S ALLOWANCE - EARNINGS LIMIT

164. Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), the Office of the former Mayor of London and Carerwatch, amongst others, report that the earnings limit on Carer's Allowance makes it almost impossible for carers to combine paid work with their caring responsibilities, because the earnings limit is set at too low a level.[154] At present, the earnings limit is £95 a week (2007/08), and the National Minimum Wage (NMW) is set at £5.52 an hour, for workers aged 22 and over. If a worker earns anything above the earnings limit for CA it is removed in full. This means that a working carer, earning the NMW, can work only 17 hours a week before losing their Carer's Allowance. For anyone who earns more than the NMW, the number of hours they can work declines dramatically.

165. USDAW argued that "The rule fails to reflect the needs of carers working in our industries, most notably retail, nor does it reflect the needs of employers operating in the fast moving, responsive and high turnover retail industry."[155] USDAW said that it has the support of a major national retailer in its campaign to change the earnings limit: "They are behind our campaign precisely because they want the working carers they employ to have the flexibility to earn extra money where possible, instead of being stuck in a benefits trap."[156]

166. Ms George of USDAW stressed that "The Benefits Agency is demanding weekly letters regarding their income if it comes up near the £95 a week limit, as they often do, and that is an extra burden for a personnel manager to have to write letters on people's behalf to a Benefits Agency. It does trap carers in that either you work and get no recognition or you do very few hours and claim Carer's Allowance."[157]

167. ADASS and the LGA suggest that CA should be 'tapered' away as income rises, not removed in full. It accepts that this may cause problems in the interplay with other means-tested benefits that the carer may be receiving, such as housing and council tax benefit (and possibly WTC), creating very high marginal 'tax rates' of 90 per cent or more. However, it believes that such a measure should be costed, modelled and considered.[158] Ms Redmond of Carers UK agreed: "A taper would be much better so that people have much more flexibility."[159]

168. Ms Waters of BT added that employees would like to "be able to gradually build up their working hours so that they find that 'sweet spot' where they can adequately manage work and it gives gainful employment and a reasonable level of income, and they can manage their caring responsibilities. It is not the case for BT workers generally but for those who are on lower income, the £95 earnings […] cap really does not give carers that choice, and I think that is something that needs to be looked at perhaps in a slightly different perspective on the cliff edge."[160]

169. The Minister for Disabled People, Anne McGuire, commented however that "It is not just an issue of finance but there are knock-on costs if you increase the earnings' limit. It is not a no-cost solution, because there are knock-on effects for other parts of the benefits system."[161]

170. CAB offered a different solution, suggesting that increasing the earnings limit would help many carers to combine paid work with their caring responsibilities, without undermining their family income.[162] ADASS and the LGA added that increasing the earnings limit to £150 a week would actually add very little to the social security budget as it would only add a relatively small number of carers to the total number who are claiming CA (those currently earning between £95 and £150 a week). Those who currently limit their hours (and pay) to the present threshold would simply have the capacity to earn more, whilst retaining the same level of CA as at present.[163] Mr Vaux, representing ADASS and LGA explained:

"The carers who are working would be able to work longer hours and earn more, it does not actually bring more people into Carer's Allowance apart from that small group who are currently earning between £95 and £150. If a carer is currently getting £50 a week Carer's Allowance and earning £94.99, if they can earn £149.99 it does not affect the amount of Carer's Allowance that is in payment, so there is actually very little additional cost to increasing the earnings disregard apart from that group who are currently in that bracket."[164]

171. We asked the Department for costings and the estimates are as follows:

Figure 9: Cost of raising or abolishing the earnings limit

Raise the earnings limit to £150 pw[165] Abolishing the earnings limit[166]
Year 1 £12m £80m
Year 2 £24m £163m
Year 3 £36m £248m
Year 4 £49m £336m
Year 5 £62m £427m

172. Currently the earnings limit also causes other problems, as the earnings limit goes up each year in April, but the NMW is uprated each October. In April, carers whose earnings are just below the limit become eligible for Carer's Allowance but, when the NMW is uprated in October, they lose their Carer's Allowance because they are then earning slightly more than the earnings limit.[167] Ms Pearlman of CAB said "What it means really is that from April to October you can earn slightly more or you can do slightly more hours work, but then the minimum wage goes up and you are back where you started again. It is almost impossible to manage a budget on that sort of insecurity."[168]

173. DWP said that increases in NMW are implemented in October by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform: "There are technical reasons for this, notably the time needed to undertake research into wage rates in the various industrial sectors, study the findings and submit the proposed increases in the NMW to the Treasury for approval. This means that October is the earliest practical date for implementation."[169]

174. Despite recent increases to the earnings limit, its level still represents a major barrier for carers to combine work and care, and/or progress in employment. We recommend that the Department urgently commissions and publishes a thorough analysis of the costs and benefits of increasing the earnings limit and introducing a taper.

175. The different timetable for Carer's Allowance earnings limit uprating and the uprating of the National Minimum Wage is still a cause of great anxiety for claimants and causes problems for employers. We recommend that the Department finds ways of synchronising the increases in the level of the Carer's Allowance earnings limit with increases in the National Minimum Wage.



11 years on and ... no follow up whatsoever ... just been allowed to be binned !
Shocked this has never been followed up!
Shocked this has never been followed up!


As so echoed throughout CarerLand ... some eleven years later.
Better late than never ?

Posted on the CUK main site ... NOT on this forum ... down to me again to inform readers ???

From memory , an annual response ... why not save EVERYONE time and worry and get this problem solved once and for all ???
Responding to the Written Ministerial Statement, Emily Holzhausen OBE, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK said:

“We’re pleased to see the Government has increased the earnings threshold for Carer’s Allowance by £3.00 to £123 per week, meaning more unpaid carers who choose to work and care can continue to do so while receiving much needed financial support for caring.

“However, come April 2019 this increase will be problematic for some carers working set hours, with those working over 14 hours on the National Living Wage likely to become ineligible for Carer’s Allowance. Currently, carers on the National Living Wage are able to work 15 hours before reaching the earnings threshold.

“Carers UK has long called for the earnings threshold to be linked to National Living Wage at 16 hours a week which remains an important part of the benefits system, allowing eligibility to other benefits like Tax Credits. The Work and Pensions Select Committee has also recommended that these are aligned and we urge the Government again to at least increase and link the earnings rule to 16 hours at the National Living Wage.

“Although we’re pleased to see Carer’s Allowance rise with inflation to £66.15 per week, we’d like to see a much bigger increase in this benefit. Carer’s Allowance was recently increased in line with Jobseeker’s Allowance in Scotland, and we continue to call on the Government to increase it in the rest of the UK through our Fairer for Carers campaign.

“Although Carer’s Allowance and disability benefits continue to rise with inflation, many other benefits which carers on low incomes and their families rely on continue to be frozen. It can’t be right that so many people who make such an enormous contribution to our economy and society continue to face financial hardship.”



Go to our Fairer for Carers page for information on Carers UK's campaign to increase Carer's Allowance for all carers in the UK.


( Red herring : https://www.carersuk.org/forum/social-a ... r%20carers ... a rise which isn't a rise ... smoke and mirrors again. )

Background to the announcement :

If you are in paid work (including self-employment) you cannot get Carer’s Allowance if you earn more than £120 (2018/19) rising to £123 (rising to 2019/20) a week (after deductions).

The earnings threshold was last increased in April 2017 to £120. The rise in the National Living Wage in April 2017 meant that those working more than 15 hours a week at minimum wage and eligible for the new national living wage were over the £120 earnings limit, (unless any of the deductions were made).

In April 2019 National Living Wage will increase to £8.21per hour. This means that carers working more than 14 hours at the National Living Wage will be over the earnings threshold unless deductions have been made.

Carers UK has consistently called for the Government to ensure that the earnings threshold increases in line with the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage to ensure that carers are able to work for at least 16 hours without losing entitlement. Working for 16 hours entitles some carers to Tax Credits.

( Working Tax Credits ? Under Universal Credit ???????????????? )


If you are moved to UC from tax credits by HMRC/DWP (this will start from 2019) and you do not have any changes in circumstances, the Government has promised that they will make sure you do not receive less money as you move over to UC, but this protection will gradually reduce over the years if rates of UC increase or if your UC award increases because your circumstances have changed. Some changes of circumstances, such as becoming part of a couple or leaving your partner, will end transitional protection. If you have a change of circumstances that means you have to move to UC, you will not receive any transitional protection, so the amount of UC you get may be higher or lower than your tax credits.




Don't forget folks , the announcement by the Government earlier this year ... encouraging ALL carers to juggle work with caring ... endorsed by both supporting organisations ... without delving into reality , as is , in Carerland !

https://www.carersuk.org/forum/news-and ... h%20caring

£ 123 per week and keep CA ... whoopie ... still leaves all below the Official Poverty Line !

Silence still on the second issue ... Direct Payments ... if not increased , a rise in the minimum wage will result in less care for the same monies !
Any readers balancing work and caring ?

Any experiencing problems with their employer in cutting down working hours to stay within the £ 120 ... soon to be £ 123 ... limit ahead of the rise in the minumum wage in April ?

Early doors but ... a problem for many ???
With the rise in the minimum wage just a few weeks away , a timely reminder to get this thread back to the fore.

Any reader asked their LA to increase their caree's DPs to compensate for the likely rise in fees ?

Would be handy to know the reaction ... even replies like " ******** NO ! " would be appreciated ... not by me , but other readers in the same boat ( SS Titanic ? ).

Not only are DPs to be effectively worth less , any needing to cut their hours to stay within the new limit of £ 123 ?

Any from The Smoke ... the " Real living wage ? " ... even more of a problem ???

A double nightmare for some ... no doubt ?

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Any reading this thread for the first time ?

Earlier postings will be of interest ... !!!

Not for some I could mention ... !!!