Alliance calls for review of carers allowance

Patrick Brown MLA, Alliance spokesperson on Poverty, and Kellie Armstrong MLA, herself a carer, have called for a review of Carers Allowance.

Speaking after an event today, Patrick confirmed: “Alliance fully supports the Carers NI recommendations contained in their report Policy measures to tackle poverty among unpaid Carers in Northern Ireland.

“Alliance supports an increase in the Carer’s allowance earning threshold and the introduction of a taper, introduction of a working carer’s element to carers allowance, reforming overlapping benefit rules to allow more older people to receive Carers Allowance, for consideration of ways to recognise the higher cost of caring for more than one person and allow full time students to be eligible for Carer’s Allowance.”

Kellie added: “Carer’s allowance helps carers to meet the additional cost to provide caring responsibilities. These costs include losing salary while taking unpaid leave to carry out caring duties, the cost to provide specialist diet needs, higher energy costs, higher transport costs for multiple health and social care appointments, and much more.

“With 28.3 percent of carers in NI living in poverty, and 46 percent of people in receipt of Carers Allowance in poverty, we need Westminster to review Carer’s Allowance and to uplift this benefit by the rate calculated by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. This would lift 3,500 out of poverty and 2500 out of deep poverty.”