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Around a million carers would be able to benefit from a £250 bonus from the Government in order to allow them to take short breaks of respite, under plans set out by Nick Clegg.
The Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats said that the party will fight in next year’s general election on a promise of extra money for people who care full-time for disabled or elderly relatives. The money would be paid annually to help ease the burden that can sometimes occur as a carer.
Clegg said that the ‘extraordinary’ contribution by carers mean that they should be given extra financial support even when finances are under pressure. Clegg said:[quote] “If you have ever come into contact with a carer, you will understand why these men and women deserve to be singled out for extra support at a time of ongoing restraint. Their contribution is extraordinary.” [/quote]
The 2015 Liberal Democrat manifesto will include a deal to introduce a ‘carers bonus’ initially worth £125 per year, rising to £250 by 2020. The money would be for those who make great sacrifices for their relations, such as carers who have had to give up work entirely to provide round the clock care for someone else. Clegg said that they were saving the health care services money, yet they struggle to make ends meet themselves.
The bonus would be paid in cash to carers and they would be able to spend it as they wish. It has been suggested that most may want to use it to arrange alternative care which would allow them to take a break from their responsibilities. Clegg said that it didn’t matter how they spent it, what matters is that the Government does whatever they can to show thanks and ease the pressure that carers have to cope with on a daily basis.
The bonus would only be available to carers claiming carers allowance.