Press Release

Committee Welcomes Planned Increase in Support for Carers

Session: 2009/2010

Date: Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Reference: F&P 07/09/10

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Finance and Personnel has welcomed a commitment by the Finance Minister to provide some additional rate relief for carers by increasing the Carers Premium under the existing low income rate relief scheme.

Committee Chairperson, Jennifer McCann, MLA said: “The Committee has been working with the Department of Finance and Personnel over recent months to determine how to give carers additional financial support. The Committee had asked the Minister to consider a number of options for providing support through rate reliefs, and is pleased with his decision to increase the carer premium element of the low income rate relief scheme.

"The Committee recognises the significant and valuable contribution that carers make to society, which is estimated to save the public purse hundreds of millions of pounds annually. While the relief provided by this change may be modest, it is nonetheless welcomed by Committee members as a step in the right direction. We would urge the Minister to bring forward the necessary legislation to implement this as quickly as possible, to ensure that this additional support is available to those who need and deserve it.”

Notes to Editors:

1. The estimate of carers saving the public hundreds of millions of pounds comes from research undertaken by Carers UK.

The Committee for Finance and Personnel is one of the statutory committees established by the Northern Ireland Assembly on 9 May 2007.

As per paragraph 9 of Strand One of the Belfast Agreement, Statutory Committees have the power to:

  • consider and advise on departmental budgets and annual plans in the context of the overall budget allocation;
  • approve relevant secondary legislation and take the Committee stage of relevant primary legislation;
  • call for persons and papers;
  • initiate inquiries and make reports; and,
  • consider and advise on matters brought to the Committee by its Minister.

Committee Members:

Jennifer McCann (Chairperson) (Sinn Fein) 
David McNarry (Deputy Chairperson) (UUP) 
Jonathan Craig (DUP) 
Dr Stephen Farry (Alliance) 
Simon Hamilton (DUP) 
Fra McCann (Sinn Fein) 
Mitchel McLaughlin (Sinn Fein) 
Adrian McQuillan (DUP) 
Declan O’Loan (SDLP) 
Ian Paisley Jnr (DUP) 
Dawn Purvis (PUP)

Further information on the work of the Committee is available on the Committee pages of the Northern Ireland Assembly website:

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