§ Mr. Burstow
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was paid to carers through benefits and services in each of the last five years. 
§ Maria Eagle
The requested information about benefit expenditure on carers is in the table.
Carers can also be supported by services provided by local authorities and the NHS. In addition, local authorities in England were given powers to make direct payments to carers and people with parental responsibility for disabled children in April 2001. Information about the amount of money disbursed as direct payments was not collected centrally. Expenditure on such payments made by local authorities in Scotland and Wales are matters for the Scottish Executive and for the National Assembly for Wales, respectively.
Benefit expenditure in Great Britain on carers—1996–97 to 2001–02 £ million 1996–97 18,300 1997–98 16,950 1998–99 18,650 1999–2000 19,400 2000–01 19,400
Based on estimates from the Family Resources Survey (FRS), 1996–97 to 2000–01, applied to actual benefit expenditure.
1. Figures are estimates based on the Family Resources Survey (FRS), applied to outturn expenditure on each benefit. 2000–01 is the latest year for which data are available.
2. Carers are those who give help on an informal basis, not as part of a paid job. This includes children who care for others.
3. On the FRS survey, what should be counted as care is not prescriptively defined. Respondents are asked about care between household members, and about care given to those outside the household.
4. The estimates are based on sample counts that have been adjusted for non-response using multi-purpose grossing factors that control for region, council tax band and a number of demographic variables. Estimates are subject to sampling error and to variability in non-response.112W
5. Benefit receipt on the FRS is based on self-assessment and therefore may be subject to misreporting.
6. Figures are rounded to the nearest £50 million.
The carer status is a result of what the respondent says rather than the application on an objective definition.