HC Deb 02 December 1999 vol 340 cc292-3W
Mr. Willetts

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what would be the cost of allowing pensioners who become carers to receive the carer's premium in income support; how many new claimants he estimates would become eligible each year; and how long their entitlement would last on average. [100042]

Mr. Bayley

The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is as followsIt is estimated that the extension of carer premium entitlement to those becoming carers aged 65 or over would cost £15 million in Income Support in the year 2000–01, with 20,000 gainers, together with a much smaller sum of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. Information to estimate how long entitlement would last is not available.


1. Cash prices. Costs rounded to the nearest £5 million, gainers rounded to the nearest five thousand.

2. As survey based estimates, the above will be subject to sampling error. The accuracy of the costing is also affected by the limitations of the data available on the time spent caring for a sick or disabled person.

3. The answer depends on their being underlying or actual entitlement to Invalid Care Allowance (ICA). It is assumed that all other ICA entitlement rules remain in place after the proposed change—including 35 hours spent caring, benefit overlap rules, earnings limits and receipt by the person being cared for of Disability Living Allowance (care) at the middle or higher rate or Attendance Allowance.


Family Resources Survey 1997–98.

Mr. Willetts

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people receive the carer's premium in income support; how many of these are pensioners; and at what ages these pensioners first became entitled to the benefit. [99920]

Mr. Bayley

As at August 1999 there were 193,000 Income Support claimants with a carer premium, of which 11,000 were aged 65 or over. The table provides information on the age of the claimant when they first became entitled to Income Support. They may have been in receipt of the carer premium then or subsequently.

Income Support claimants aged 65 and over with the carer premium by age at the start of their current claim to Income Support, August 1999
Age of claimants Number of claimants
All claimants 11,000
Aged under 59 3,000
60 to 64 5,000
65 and over 3,000


1. Figures are based on a 5 per cent. sample of Income Support claimants as such are subject to a degree of sampling error.

2. Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest thousand and may not sum to totals.


Income Support Quarterly Statistical Enquiry, August 1999.

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