§ Mrs. Renée Short
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how many of those caring for elderly and disabled people in their homes are married women; and how much it would cost to extend the invalid care allowance to them;
(2) how many elderly and handicapped he estimates are currently being cared for in their homes; and how many people are in receipt of invalid care allowances.
§ Mr. Rossi
At 30 September 1980, the latest date for which the figures are available, about 300,000 elderly and handicapped people were living in their homes and receiving attendance allowance. Only where attendance allowance is in payment can a claim arise for invalid care allowance. At present this allowance, for which married women cannot qualify, is in payment in some 7,000 cases. Where married women are eligible for it, it is estimated that the numbers who could claim would rise by up to 110,000. The gross cost would be of the order of £100 million a year: after savings in other benefit payments are taken into account the net cost is estimated at £40 million at least.