Ivan Lewis, Care Services Minister has announced a flagship 24-hour telephone helpline for carers is going to be introduced in England next year.
However the £2.7 million helpline will not be available to Wales, Scotland or N. Ireland due to a lack of information about entitlements in the devolved administrations.
The carers helpline is being introduced as part of the Government’s Carer Strategy. Ivan Lewis, said people would ‘not be turned away’ because of their nationality, but if they were asking detailed questions about services in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales then ‘at the moment the helpline will not have the capacity to give the information they need’.
The work and pensions select committee have challenged the ministers on whether they would raise carer’s allowance, following worries over the government’s failure to raise the amount of £50.55 a week in the government’s carer strategy.
Minister of disabled people, Anne McGuire said that a promised review of carers’ benefits would look at how the allowance “fitted” with other working age benefits.