Responding to the Westminster Government’s announcement that they are consulting on transferring the budget for Attendance Allowance to Wales and to local authorities in England – which would have serious repercussions for those providing unpaid care in the future – Carers Wales expressed its grave concern and alarm.
Keith Bowen, Director of Carers Wales, said:
“The current national entitlement to Attendance Allowance is an important source of support for older people with care needs, helping them to remain independent for longer. The present delivery of the benefit is quick and efficient for those who need it.”
In contrast, devolving the budgets for future Attendance Allowance claimants locally across England and Wales, so that local authorities can create their own systems of support, threatens to create a lottery of support for older people and carers.
We urge the UK Government to retain the current system which works well, is clear and relatively efficient. Attendance Allowance should not be seen as a way of shoring up the cash strapped adult social care departments.
Given that Attendance Allowance is a gateway benefit to claiming Carer’s Allowance, we are also extremely concerned that, in the future under these proposals, carers will find it more difficult to access Carer’s Allowance – an absolutely vital source of income for those caring for older and disabled loved ones”
More information on Attendance Allowance and Carer’s Allowance is available from the Carers UK website:
• Attendance Allowance: www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/financial-support/help-with-benefits/attendance-allowance
• Carers Allowance: www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/financial-support/help-with-benefits/carers-allowance