§ Mr. Kevin Hughes
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he will begin public consultation on the introduction of changes to the Invalid Care Allowance and Vaccine Damage Payment schemes by regulatory reform orders. 
§ Maria Eagle
As announced last autumn, we intend to introduce changes to both the Invalid Care Allowance and Vaccine Damage Payment schemes. The changes will allow carers over the age of 65 to claim Invalid Care Allowance and also extend entitlement by up to eight weeks after the death of the person being cared for. At the same time we intend to make provision to change the name of the benefit to Carer's Allowance.
The changes to the Vaccine Damage Payment scheme will extend the time limits for claiming payment, reduce the level of disability necessary to qualify and allow certain people previously disallowed under the time limit or disability threshold to have their claims reconsidered.
We intend to introduce these changes by regulatory reform orders introduced later this year. We will be issuing public consultation documents setting out our proposals on Monday 23 July 2001.