Written Answers. - Carer's Scheme.

Noel Ahern

Question:

149 Mr. N. Ahern asked the Minister for Finance the number of carers in the country who currently do not qualify on means grounds for the Department of Social Welfare carer's scheme; the annual cost of granting such carers a tax free allowance of £2,000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16819/96]

Reliable figures are not available to estimate the number of carers in the country who do not qualify for the Department of Social Welfare carer's scheme on means grounds. Consequently, no reliable estimate can be given of the cost of the tax free allowance proposed by the Deputy. Even if such a costing could be done, it would be necessary to consider whether tax relief was the most appropriate way to target resources in this area.