My ministerial colleagues and I recognise and appreciate the vital role played by unpaid carers. Carer’s Allowance is designed to provide a measure of financial support for people who give up the opportunity of full-time employment in order to care for a severely disabled person. It must be stressed it is not a carer’s wage or payment for the services of caring, nor is it intended to replace lost or forgone earnings in their entirety.
The rate of Carer’s Allowance increased from April 2023 by 10.1 per cent to £76.75 a week, in line with inflation. This means that, since 2010, Carer's Allowance will have increased from £53.90 to £76.75 a week, providing carers with just under an additional £1200 a year.
I would encourage carers to check their eligibility for additional support, such as Universal Credit. Universal Credit can include an additional amount for carers who provide care of 35 hours or more each week for a severely disabled person.
Additionally, at the Autumn Statement 2022, the Government announced a substantial support package for the most vulnerable for 2023/24, including £300 Cost-of-Living Payments for pensioners, £150 for people on disability benefits, and £900 for people on means-tested benefits. The Government is also providing £1 billion of extra funding by extending the Household Support Fund to March 2024, bringing the total of the Fund to £2.5 billion, which will allow Local Authorities to support valuable households through supermarket vouchers and cash grants.