Jobseeker's Allowance (Hansard, 16 January 1997)
HC Deb 16 January 1997 vol 288 cc385-6W
Mr. Wilson

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what estimate he has made of the number of carers who are no longer entitled to sign on as unemployed as a result of the introduction of jobseeker's allowance and are also unable to obtain national insurance credits due to the cared-for person not being in receipt of disability living allowance at the middle rate. [8896]

Mr. Roger Evans

No such estimate has been made. Carers who care for someone who is in receipt of the highest or middle rate of disability living allowance care component are not required to be available for work and may be able to claim income support. People who receive income support as carers can take advantage of home responsibilities protection which will protect their basic pension rights.

All unemployed carers, whether caring for someone who is in receipt of disability living allowance or not, can choose to claim jobseeker's allowance and will receive either benefit and credits or credits alone, depending on their personal circumstances, so long as they fulfil the jobseeker's allowance conditions of being available for and actively seeking work. Under jobseeker's allowance, carers are able to restrict the hours for which they are available for work in line with their caring responsibilities, so long as they retain reasonable prospects of securing employment and are available for a minimum of 16 hours per week. Additionally, carers are not required to take up employment immediately but are instead allowed 48 hours notice before taking up a job.

Mr. Frank Field

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much benefit expenditure has been saved as a result of the introduction of jobseeker's allowance. [11039]

Mr. Evans

The information is not yet available. However, we estimate that the new jobseeker's allowance will save £60 million in 1996–97 and £240 million in 1997–98.

GLOBAL ISLES COURT OF RECORD