HC Deb 06 May 1981 vol 4 cc78-9W
Mr. Hannam

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether the Government have yet considered implementing the recommendation made in the report of the National Insurance Advisory Committee dated 4 June 1980, Cmnd. 7905, that title to invalid care allowance should be extended to non-relatives.

Mr. Rossi

On 4 June 1980 my predecessor, my right hon. Friend, the Member for Daventry (Mr. Prentice) announced that the Government had accepted in principle the recommendation from the National Insurance Advisory Committee.—[Vol. 985, c.770–71.] Funds were not then available to implement it but I am glad to be able to announce that, despite the continuing constraints on public expenditure, we are now able to make the change. From 1 June, non-relatives who stay at home to look after a disabled person receiving attendance allowance will be entitled to invalid care allowance where the other conditions for receiving the allowance are satisfied. This change will benefit those people, including friends, who perform such a valuable service for disabled people, but who, not being related, were not previously eligible. It is estimated that a further 2,000 people will now be able to claim the allowance at an extra annual cost of £1½ million net. ICA is at present £16.30 per week.

Certain people such as children under the age of 16, those in full-time education and married women, remain ineligible for the allowance.

In order to publicise the extension to the scheme, I am writing to various organisations and publications for the disabled. Furthermore, the Department is inviting fresh claims from those persons who previously claimed but failed to qualify for invalid care allowance because they were not related to the disabled person.