The Secretary of State for Community and Local Government has announced that the Government will not go ahead with proposals it consulted on to devolve responsibility for delivering the older people’s disability benefit, Attendance Allowance, to local authorities in England.
As part of the Business Rates Retention consultation, published last year, the Government consulted on whether Attendance Allowance should be devolved to local government in England. This would mean potentially transferring the budget and responsibility for Attendance Allowance to local councils, giving them more responsibility to support older people with care needs.
Carers UK responded to the consultation providing evidence on the negative impact that such a change could have for carers and their families and the importance of keeping the benefit as a national entitlement. We also encouraged carers to respond to the consultation and make their MP aware of their concerns in our campaign to Protect Attendance Allowance.
Responding to the announcement Carers UK’s Chief Executive, Heléna Herklots CBE, said:
“We are pleased that the concerns of older disabled people and carers have been listened to and we’re grateful to all those who made their views known. Localising Attendance Allowance would have risked fragmenting and reducing essential sources of practical and financial support both for older disabled people, and for carers.
Attendance Allowance helps thousands of older people with the extra costs of disability and enables people to live in their own homes for longer. 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 and essential income for many who are unable to combine paid work with caring.”