£10 a week extra for carers

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Indy Politics

A £200m package of help for the disabled and the people who care for them was announced by the Government yesterday.

A £200m package of help for the disabled and the people who care for them was announced by the Government yesterday.

More than 200,000 carers will benefit from a bigger than expected rise in the "carer premium". It was due to rise by £2 a week in April but will now rise by £10.

"For too many years the selfless dedication of carers did not receive just recognition," said Alistair Darling, the Secretary of State for Social Security. "We are determined to reverse this and the improved carer premium rates begin to give deserved reward to over 200,000 carers for their vital contribution to community care."

He also announced a 25 per cent increase in the disabled child premium, which is paid for 80,000 children and will go up by £7.40 to £30 a week Most state benefits will rise, in line with the retail price index, by 3.3 per cent.

Mr Darling told MPs that the disability income guaranteewould be more generous than originally planned. It was due to be worth £128 a week but will now be worth £142 a week.

Mr Darling said: "The increases in carer and disability benefits prove our determination to give improved and sustained help where it is needed most."

The increases were welcomed by Labour MPs, more than 50 of whom rebelled over cuts in incapacity benefit earlier this year. A spokesman for the Royal National Institute for the Deaf said: "These are significant benefit increases and will make a real difference to the lives of disabled people."

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