§ Mr. Alan Howarth
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his estimate of the costs of raising the invalid care allowance to(a) the level of unemployment benefit and (b) the level of retirement pension. 
§ Mr. Burt
The estimated cost, at 1996–97 rates, of raising the rate of invalid care allowance to the levels of unemployment benefit and retirement pension is £150 million a year and £330 million a year respectively.
The rate of invalid care allowance is equivalent to the rate of retirement pension, category B (lower) based on spouse's contributions.
§ Mr. Howarth
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people have been disqualified from invalid care allowance during 1995–96 broken down by reason for disqualification. 
§ Mr. Burt
The information is in the tables.
Disallowed claims 1995–96 Reason Numbers Claimant under 16 8 Claimant over 65 2,072 Qualifying benefit not in payment 21,818 Caring less than 35 hours a week 201 Gainfully employed 1,891 In receipt of other benefits1 3,119 Other reasons 20,099 Total 49,208
Awards terminated 1995–96 Reason Numbers Death of disabled person 23,694 Ceased caring 19,002 Qualifying benefit ceased 4,130 Overlapping benefits1 8,607 Gainfully employed 5,390 Other reasons2 6,575 Total 67,398
1Underlying entitlement to invalid care allowance may remain with consequent entitlement to carers premium within the income-related benefits if appropriate.
2"Other reasons" includes disallowances on grounds of residence/presence, full-time education, more than one carer claiming for same disabled person, and carer claiming for more than one disabled person.
Invalid care allowance unit, based on 100 per cent. count of cases subject to amendment.