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Over 9,000 carers in Leeds to get bonus of up to £250 under Liberal Democrat plans

July 4, 2014 4:35 PM

Carers will receive a bonus worth up to £250-a-year under a Liberal Democrat government, it has been announced, including 9,100 carers across Leeds.

The no strings attached Carer's Bonus will help more than one million people across the country who look after disabled loved-ones. Local MP Greg Mulholland has welcomed the announcement, saying carers "fully deserve recognition".

The annual payment will help full-time carers get a bit of extra help and recognises the invaluable contribution they make to society.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

"Carers are Britain's unsung heroes. Up and down the country behind closed doors, you'll find a hidden army of carers doing amazing things every day.

"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 it - it's a no strings attached bonus from a party that is grateful for the superhuman work they do."

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.

The annual bonus would be available to anyone who receives the Carer's Allowance or the Carer's Premium.

Liberal Democrat MP for Leeds North West, Greg Mulholland added:

"I warmly welcome this announcement, carers in Leeds fully deserve recognition but very often don't get it. They perform a thankless task day in, day out to care for their loved ones and they don't ask for anything in return.

"This is £250 they can spend on anything they like and I am proud that Liberal Democrats, if in Government after 2015, will continue to stand up for these unsung heroes in Leeds and around the country."

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."

The pledge follows a number of measures introduced by the Coalition Government to support carers.

Successive Liberal Democrat Care Ministers Paul Burstow and Norman Lamb have led the work to better provide for Britain's unsung heroes.

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.

While £3 million has been allocated to improve awareness and understanding about carers among health workers.