Thursday, 26 February 2009

Ladyman wins savings concession for carers

Stephen Ladyman Press Release

A campaign by South Thanet MP Stephen Ladyman to give working age carers access to a new Government saving scheme has paid off. Treasury Minister Ian Pearson agreed in the Commons today (25th February) to introduce a Government amendment in the House of Lords that will make working age people who receive carers allowance eligible for Gateway Savings Accounts.

"As a former Minister for Carers I couldn't stand by and see carers excluded, even unintentionally, from a great opportunity for them to save for a rainy day. It took a bit of doing but I'm delighted to say the Minister agreed in the end and has said he will amend the Bill" said Dr Ladyman.

Gateway Savings Accounts will allow people to save up to £600 and after two years the Government will match those savings with 50p for every £1 saved. Savers will be able to get a windfall of up to £300 in the accounts that are aimed at low income workers and people on eligible benefits.

"Carers allowance can be paid to carers of all ages and these accounts are only aimed at people of working age which is why Carers Allowance was not originally one of the benefits that made people eligible. After placing my own amendment down in Committee and after a lot of discussion behind the scenes I'm delighted to say that I succeeded in getting the Minister to agree that not all working age carers would be eligible through some other route and he has today confirmed in the Commons that the Bill will be changed."

“The idea of Gateway Savings Accounts is to encourage people who, perhaps, have never saved before to see the benefits of putting something away for a rainy day or for a treat. I hope lots of people on low incomes will take advantage of them when they start and I’m pleased a lot more carers will now be among them.”

Note to editors:

Stephen Ladyman was the Minister for Community in the Department of Health from 2003-2005, a portfolio that included carers.

About 8m people will be eligible for Gateway Savings Accounts including people on certain benefits and tax credits. They are due to start from 2010.

More information about the Bill and a link to a transcript is available at:

Dr Stephen Ladyman
MP for South Thanet
House of Commons

Tel: 01843 852696
Fax: 01843 852689

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