More than 6,300 carers in Bristol will receive a bonus worth up to £250-a-year under a Liberal Democrat government, it has been announced.
The no strings attached Carer's Bonus will help more than one million people who look after disabled loved-ones. The annual payment will help full-time carers get a bit of extra help and recognises the invaluable contribution they make to society.
The bonus would be worth £125 at the start of the next parliament and would rise to £250-a-year by 2020, with around 1.1 million people eligible. It would be available to anyone who receives the Carer's Allowance or the Carer's Premium.
The pledge follows a number of measures introduced by the Coalition Government to support carers. In addition to the Carers Bonus, in Government the party has secured:
- £800 million to fund short breaks for disabled children and their families.
- Around £400 million has been set aside to support carers to take breaks from caring responsibilities; and
- £3 million has been allocated to improve awareness and understanding about carers among health workers.
In total, 6,320 carers across the city will benefit from the Carer's Bonus.
Stephen Williams MP, the Member of Parliament for Bristol West said:
"I am acutely aware of the vital role carers play in Bristol and I fully appreciate the challenges carers face on a daily basis.
"It is estimated that six in ten of us will at some point in our lives find ourselves caring for someone else - an elderly relative, a sick child, a friend who needs our support. These are people who deserve our support even in straightened times, which is why the Liberal Democrat manifesto will include a Carer's Bonus to give them a little extra help.
"It's completely up to the carers themselves how they spend the money - it's a no strings attached bonus from a party that is grateful for the superhuman work our unsung heroes do."
Liberal Democrat Care Minister, Norman Lamb added:
"We know how hard carers work and that one of the most important things to them is getting a break every now again.
"It is why the Liberal Democrats will introduce this Carer's Bonus if we are in government again after the General Election.
"But it's not for us to dictate to them what they do with it - carers know best how to spend the money in the way that will most benefit them and the people they care for."