UK

Labour Promises To Increase Carer's Allowance By 17 Percent

'Both morally and economically right'.

17/04/2017 22:00 BST
PA Wire/PA Images
Jeremy Corbyn will say on Tuesday that a Labour government will raise the Carer's Allowance

Jeremy Corbyn will pounce on a “crisis” in social care by using a speech in Birmingham on Tuesday to pledge an increase to the Carer’s Allowance.

The Labour leader is expected to lash the government’s handling of social care which he will say has led to turmoil “made in Downing Street” after billions of cuts to council budgets.

Corbyn will promise a Labour government will increase the weekly allowance given to carers by £10 - a rise of 17 percent - from £62.70 a week to £73.10.

Announcing the policy at a carers’ centre, Corbyn will say: “Britain’s social care crisis was made in Downing Street by cutting £4.6bn from council care budgets.

“Millions of unpaid carers have been forced to fill the gap and put under even greater pressure as a result.

“The care they give to the disabled, sick and elderly saves taxpayers £132bn a year. So we believe these unsung, unpaid heroes not only deserve our praise and recognition - they deserve better financial support.

“That’s why Labour is convinced it’s both morally and economically right to give the Carer’s Allowance a boost of £10 a week.”

...these unsung, unpaid heroes not only deserve our praise and recognition - they deserve better financial support. Jeremy Corbyn

Corbyn plans to fund the pledge by scrapping a Conservative reduction in the inheritance tax rate which he says “will only benefit the wealthiest people in Britain”.

“This will be the first step in helping to transform our social care system for the 21st century and boosting support for family carers,” he will say.

But Conservatives attacked Labour’s previous promises relating to tax saying: “they aren’t worth the paper they are written on.”

Tory MP Luke Hall, a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, said: “Carers make a huge contribution to society, so it’s only right that we do everything we can to support the selfless work they do.

“That’s why we already increased the rate of Carer’s Allowance, meaning an additional £450 a year for carers since 2010.

“Labour have already proved that their promises on tax aren’t worth the paper they are written on.

“For example, they have already committed the money from corporation tax cuts eleven times over. There is no way they could find the additional money for this promise.”

Some 6.5 million people in the UK provide unpaid care for older, disabled and seriously ill relatives and friends.

Labour said any increase would benefit around one million carers by 2021.