Allowing Carers To Retain Full Welfare Entitlement Will Boost Incomes Of 18,000 By Over ?100 Per Week


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Séamus Brennan - Carers Initiative One Of A Number Of Significant Welfare Reforms In Budget 2007

The introduction for the first time in the history of the State of an entitlement allowing Carers to retain a full social welfare payment and to receive, in addition, up to half rate Carers Allowance, will boost the income of an estimated 18,000 carers by up to €109 per week, the Minister for Social Affairs, Séamus Brennan T.D., announced today.

This major new support initiative for Carers, which is at the centre of a €107 million Budget 2007 package of increases and improvements for Carers, also represents a fundamental reform of welfare policy as it effectively abolishes the long standing rule that forbids a person receiving two welfare payments. Minister Brennan said in bringing in the structural reform he was responding to recommendations from the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social & Family Affairs and requests from Carers organisations.

Minister Brennan outlined details of the increases in incomes for Carers in the Dail when introducing the Social Welfare Bill 2006 which gives legislative effect to the welfare increases, improvements and changes in Budget 2007.

The Minister said the numbers of Carers directly benefiting from other Budget increases and improvements included almost 40,000 who will receive the annual Respite Care Grant, increased by €300 to €1,500; 28,500 who get the increases of €18 and €20 in rates of Carers Allowance and Carers Benefit; 1,200 new carers who will qualify for payment; and 2,500 existing carers who will receive increases in weekly payments following the easing of the means test for Carers Allowance. Minister Brennan said: "Carers make a valued and valuable contribution to Irish society by devoting their time and energy to improving the quality of life for others. I am determined that their dedication and sacrifice will be recognised and acknowledged through increased benefits and improved support measures."

"The reforming of the system and the abolishing of the old rule that you cannot get two welfare payments means that for the first time people who are caring can have some real recognition of their caring duties. Introducing the new dual payment system means we will be starting to recognise the Carers Allowance less as a welfare income payment and more as a direct support for caring duties and responsibilities. I consider this reform to be an important step forward and I am now determined to press ahead with other needed reforms and improvements in the caring area, including the publication in 2007 of a National Carers Strategy."

The Minister said the full details of how the new dual payment for Carers will be paid were now being finalised by his Department. It is estimated there are some 14,000 people currently in receipt of a Carer’s Allowance who would also have an entitlement to another welfare payment, while there are a further 4,000 people in receipt of other welfare payments who are also carers. Minister Brennan said that overall more than €107 million was being invested in increases, reforms and supports for Carers.The introduction for the first time in the history of the State of an entitlement allowing Carers to retain a full social welfare payment and to receive, in addition, up to half rate Carers Allowance, will boost the income of an estimated 18,000 carers by €109 per week, the Minister for Social Affairs, Seamus Brennan T.D., announced today.

This major new support initiative for Carers, which is at the centre of a €107 million Budget 2007 package of increases and improvements for Carers, also represents a fundamental reform of welfare policy as it effectively abolishes the long standing rule that forbids a person receiving two welfare payments. Minister Brennan said in bringing in the structural reform he was responding to recommendations from the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social & Family Affairs and requests from Carers organisations.

Minister Brennan outlined details of the increases in incomes for Carers in the Dail when introducing the Social Welfare Bill 2006 which gives legislative effect to the welfare increases, improvements and changes in Budget 2007.

The Minister said the numbers of Carers directly benefiting from other Budget increases and improvements included almost 40,000 who will receive the annual Respite Care Grant, increased by €300 to €1,500; 28,500 who get the increases of €18 and €20 in rates of Carers Allowance and Carers Benefit; 1,200 new carers who will qualify for payment; and 2,500 existing carers who will receive increases in weekly payments following the easing of the means test for Carers Allowance. Minister Brennan said: "Carers make a valued and valuable contribution to Irish society by devoting their time and energy to improving the quality of life for others. I am determined that their dedication and sacrifice will be recognised and acknowledged through increased benefits and improved support measures."

"The reforming of the system and the abolishing of the old rule that you cannot get two welfare payments means that for the first time people who are caring can have some real recognition of their caring duties. Introducing the new dual payment system means we will be starting to recognise the Carers Allowance less as a welfare income payment and more as a direct support for caring duties and responsibilities. I consider this reform to be an important step forward and I am now determined to press ahead with other needed reforms and improvements in the caring area, including the publication in 2007 of a National Carers Strategy."

The Minister said the full details of how the new dual payment for Carers will be paid were now being finalised by his Department. It is estimated there are some 14,000 people currently in receipt of a Carer’s Allowance who would also have an entitlement to another welfare payment, while there are a further 4,000 people in receipt of other welfare payments who are also carers. Minister Brennan said that overall more than €107 million was being invested in increases, reforms and supports for Carers.

ENDS


Last modified:12/12/2006
 

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