§ Mr. Carter-Jones
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the earnings limit for people in receipt of invalid care allowance; when this limit was fixed; to what amount it would need to be raised to keep pace with inflation; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Rossi:
The weekly earnings limit of £6 was fixed when the benefit was introduced in July 1976. To keep pace with inflation the earnings limit would need to be raised to £11.50. However, invalid care allowance is not intended to be a subsidy to earnings, even from limited part-time employment. To qualify for the allowance a person must be regularly and substantially engaged in caring for a severely disabled person for at least 35 hours a week. Any marked increase in the earnings limit would change the nature of the benefit, and I have no plans for any increase.
§ Sir David Price
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many single women, single men and married men, respectively, are in receipt of the invalid care allowance; and what is the total cost on an annual basis.