Thursday, 17 October 2019

Questions (303)

Michael McGrath

Question:

303. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection further to the decision in budget 2020 to increase the maximum number of hours a person can work and still qualify for the carer’s allowance to 18.5, her plans to also increase the maximum number of hours to 18.5 in order for a person to qualify for the carer’s support grant; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [42661/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

As part of Budget Measures 2020, I announced that family carers in receipt of my Department's income supports for carers  could increase the number of hours they can work, study or attend a training course outside the home from 15 to 18.5 hours.  This applies to those in receipt of Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit and the Carer’s Support Grant.  Over 1,200 family carers are expected to benefit from this change at a cost of €11.6 million. 

I particularly prioritised this measure in response to the carers I have met who have told me that they found the current number of 15 hours to be too restrictive. 

An increase from 15 hours to 18.5 will accommodate increased participation by carers in work or training to strengthen their connection with the labour force, while also serving the additional purpose of reducing the social alienation experienced by many carers. 

I hope this clarifies the issue for the Deputy.