MPs in call for extra benefits for carers

The benefits system for unpaid carers is outdated and the Government should provide extra financial help to support them, MPs said yesterday.

The Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee said people who care for relatives and friends saved the taxpayer an estimated £87bn every year.

Their support was of "critical importance" to the Government and they should receive more assistance, the committee said.

Its report, Valuing and Supporting Carers, recommends income replacement for those who have to work part-time or are unable to work, and compensation for costs incurred from providing "intensive" caring roles.

The MPs say they were "disappointed" the Government had not directly addressed the issue in its Carers Strategy.

Terry Rooney, the Labour MP who chairs the committee, said: Sustaining the ability of carers to provide the care and support they give to others is of critical importance."