Today, Carers UK has renewed its warning that devolving Attendance Allowance to local authorities could result in fewer disabled people and carers in the future being able to access vital benefits and consequent financial and practical support they desperately need.
The warning comes as the charity submits its response to the Government’s Business Rates Consultation. The consultation includes proposals on transferring the budget and responsibility for Attendance Allowance, the main benefit for disabled older people, to local government in England.
Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:
“Thousands of disabled older people rely on Attendance Allowance to help pay for the extra costs of getting around, for equipment to keep them independent, or to contribute towards the costs of care. As well as helping to keep older people more independent, the benefit also provides a clear route for those caring for 35 hours or more, unpaid, to get vital recognition and financial support by enabling them to claim Carer’s Allowance – the main benefit for those caring unpaid.
“Carers UK strongly recommends the Government retains the current system for Attendance Allowance, which works well. If the benefit was devolved to local authorities, we fear it would result in older people and carers getting less support in the future and mean they would have to deal with a fragmented system; our research suggests that thousands of future carers could be at risk of losing out.
“With the numbers of older people increasing and local authority budgets already stretched thin, devolving Attendance Allowance would be swapping a universal guarantee for a ticket in a postcode lottery.”
Carers UK’s response to the consultation is available here: www.carersuk.org/for-professionals/policy/policy-library/response-to-the-government-s-consultation-on-including-attendance-allowance-in-plans-on-100-retention-of-business-rates
More information on Attendance Allowance and Carer’s Allowance is available from the Carers UK website: