HC Deb 30 January 1986 vol 90 cc615-6W
Mr. Hannam

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what criteria are used to prioritise applications for funding under the helping the community to care scheme.

Mr. Whitney

The Department explored with a variety of organisations the possibility of their participation in the management of the dozen different elements of this programme. The bodies with which agreement has been reached, indicated in my reply to the right hon. Member for Stoke on Trent, South (Mr. Ashley) on 27 January at columns 397–98, are those which seemed most likely to achieve the objectives we had in mind.

Mr. Meacher

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many persons he estimates provide care in the community on a full-time or semi-full-time basis to elderly or disabled persons; what is the breakdown of this group by sex, marital status, age, region, and income; what financial assistance they receive at present; and what would be the cost (a) of extending the invalid care allowance to all married women carers and (b) of providing all carers with an allowance at current (i) short-term and (ii) long-term benefit rate levels.

Mr. Newton

Information is not collected centrally on a regular basis to enable us to provide the information required, but in 1985 we estimated that to extend invalid care allowance to married women would cost an additional £85 million a year net of savings from other benefits.