Carers UK hails a “significant victory for carers” today as the Government announced it will change the law to exempt all carers in receipt of Carer’s Allowance from the benefit cap.
The announcement was made last night by Lord Freud, Minister of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, in a House of Lords debate on the Welfare Reform & Work Bill.1
The announcement came in response to an amendment tabled by Baroness Pitkeathley following a landmark ruling from the High Court2 on carers affected by the benefit cap. In his Judgment Justice Collins cited Carers UK evidence extensively and ruled that the Government was unlawfully discriminating against disabled people and their carers.
Carers UK has campaigned for changes to the benefit cap rules since the policy was first announced in 2010, highlighting the iniquity of further reducing the incomes of carers who already contribute so much to society.
Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:
“This is a significant victory for carers and carers’ rights. By changing the law to exempt carers who receive Carer’s Allowance from the benefit cap, the Government has shown that it recognises both the valuable contribution that carers make to society and that the benefit cap unfairly penalises carers – many of whom are already facing significant financial hardship as a result of their caring role.”
“The Government’s response goes one step further than complying with the recent High Court judgment, by exempting all carers on Carer’s Allowance from the policy. It will be welcomed by those carers who are currently affected by the cap, as well as those who were at risk of being affected when the cap is lowered later this year.”
The announcement comes just months ahead the benefit cap being lowered,3 which would have seen greater numbers of carers impacted by the policy.4