Chancellor’s efforts to give a financial boost to carers dismissed
- Credit: Archant
Plans to help carers were last night dismissed as 'churlish', as the limit on carers' earnings rose by just £8 .
Carers with second jobs and families employing support workers will benefit from announcements in the Autumn Statement, but Norfolk charities said the Chancellor's announcements could have gone much further.
Carers with part-time jobs can now earn £110 a week and still claim Carer's Allowance, up from the previous limit of £102.
But Chair of the Norfolk Millennium Trust for Carers Paddy Seligman OBE said the extra £8 a week was not enough.
'It is a positive thing and a step in the right direction, but it's absolutely menial,' she said.
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'Some carers do try to hold down a part-time job, and it is a burden when what they earn affects their ability to claim Carer's Allowance.
'The other criticism we have is when someone reaches pensionable age, their Carer's Allowance stops, at a time when expenses go up for a lot of people.
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'I think it's churlish of him not to give more, I would have expected more financial help for carers.'
Households employing support workers on up to £22,500 a year will no longer pay employer National Insurance Contributions.
But Norfolk Carers Support, which works with unpaid carers, said it would have been unrealistic to hope for more drastic measures.
Executive manager Tim Allard said: 'The main thing for carers is the Care Act which will come into force in April.
'The increase announced in the Autumn Statement is welcome and it's a useful nudge for caring, but in the context of austerity we have to be real.'