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Carers’ allowance in line for reform
Changes could be made to the carers' allowance, following a select committee's stinging criticism of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The carers' allowance is paid to people who provide more than 35 hours a week of care, usually for a family member who cannot cope without their support.
It is currently worth £66.15 a week, and the recipient can earn up to £123 a week on top of receiving the allowance.
The moment they earn anything more than this, however, they lose entitlement to the allowance - and have to repay any amount they have received.
There are an estimated seven million carers in the UK - roughly one in eight adults - but only around 850,000 receive the allowance.
Those unpaid contributions from carers not claiming support they are entitled to is estimated to save the Treasury of £132 billion a year.
Frank Field, chair of the work and pensions select committee, said:
"Carers are damned if they do, damned if they don't
"They are penalised as soon as they earn even a pound over the threshold, and punished by the DWP's own administrative failures and outdated systems.
"Bullying carers is no way to recognise, much less support, the invaluable contribution carers make to our society and the people they care for, or the hundreds of billions of pounds they save the taxpayer."
Talk to us about the carers' allowance.