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Welfare mitigations report will gather dust without functioning Assembly, charity warns

by Craig Harrison 24 October 2022

Today (25 October) the independent review of welfare mitigations in Northern Ireland was published by the Department for Communities.  [1] Among other things, the review recommends the introduction of new recognition payments for those providing unpaid care for sick or disabled family members or friends [2] and reform of the Carers Allowance earnings threshold. [3]

Responding to the news, Craig Harrison, Policy and Public Affairs Manager for Carers NI, said:

These measures can help put more money in carer’s pockets and give them extra financial support when they need it most. Our carer population has been among the hardest hit by the cost of living crisis and any intervention that eases some of the financial pressures they’re facing should be welcomed.

But we must also be realistic and acknowledge that none of these measures can be delivered without a functioning Stormont Executive. Carers have been crying out for help for too long and it would be beyond egregious for this report to sit untouched, gathering dust on a civil servant’s shelf, because there are no Ministers in place to implement it. Our carers deserve so much better than that and need the political institutions restored to help them. Not tomorrow or next week, but now.”

ENDS 

Media contact  

Please contact Carers NI at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / 07905615762.

Notes to editors 

The independent welfare mitigations review makes recommendations on the future of the social security system in Northern Ireland and is available on the Department for Communities’ website.

  1. The Carers Recognition Payments would provide twice-yearly payments of £231.40 to those in receipt of Carers Allowance in Northern Ireland. It is modelled on the Carers Allowance Supplement scheme in Scotland. 
  2. The Carers Allowance earnings threshold is the cap on weekly income that a carer can earn before their Carers Allowance payments are withdrawn. It is currently set at £132 per week and under the recommendations in the welfare mitigations review this would increase to the equivalent of working 16 hours at the National Living Wage (around £152 per week).
  3. There are over 290,000 people providing unpaid care to a sick or disabled family member or friend in Northern Ireland – one in 5 adults in the local population.
  4. Unpaid carers save the Health and Social Care system in Northern Ireland an estimated £4.6bn each year in care costs.

About Carers NI 

Carers NI is Northern Ireland’s membership charity for unpaid carers. We work to represent and support the over 290,000 people in Northern Ireland who provide unpaid care for ill, older or disabled family members or friends – fighting for increased recognition and support for all carers and to ensure they have a voice in policymaking.

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