HC Deb 06 February 1995 vol 254 cc79-80W
Mr. Bradley

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if the Government's measures to help the long-term unemployed back into work apply to ex-carers who have been claiming invalid care allowance and who may have been out of the job market for longer than two years.

Mr. Hague

An ex-carer returning to work could be eligible for:

  • Family Credit with the extra £10 premium if returning to work of 30 hours or more a week;
  • the Back to Work Bonus if they had part-time earnings while on Income Support;
  • the new benefit for couples and single people without children if they were within the pilot areas.

The four-week extension of housing benefit, and the one-year national insurance holiday for employers, are aimed at people who have been continuously unemployed, or a lone parent, for the appropriate qualifying periods—six months for the housing benefit extension and two years for the national insurance holiday. Present plans are that periods in which income support was received while an ex-carer was exempt from the requirement to be available for work would not count towards those qualifying periods. I am considering this particular issue and will write to the hon. Member in due course.