§ Mr. Walters
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will consider reviewing the treatment of invalid care allowance in the supplementary benefit scheme, in order to allow a payment for the services provided by carers rather than an income maintenance benefit.
§ Mr. Scott
Invalid care allowance is an income replacement benefit designed to help replace the income of people who have given up the opportunity of full-time paid employment to look after a severely disabled person. Supplementary benefit is also an income replacement benefit, and is intended to bring up to a prescribed level any other income a person might have. In such a scheme regard must be paid to any income that is intended for everyday maintenance, and invalid care allowance is intended for this purpose. To ignore invalid care allowance in assessing entitlement to supplementary benefit, therefore, would be to make double provision from public funds.