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  • I think the UK might be on to something we could possibly use here

    1 posts, 1 voices, 580 views, started Jan 23, 2009

    Posted on Friday, January 23, 2009

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    • inactive
      Aquamarine
      Offline

      FORIMMIEDIATE RELEASE

      MPs Back Call to End Grandparent Pensions Penalty

      A cross party group of MPs led by Anne Begg, MP for Aberdeen South, have tabled an early day motion calling on the Government to introduce a National Insurance credit for grandparents of working age who provide 20 hour or more childcare per week. It is thought that as many as 500,000 grandparents are affected.

      The move comes as the Government's drive to get more single parents into work will mean that even more working age grandparents will be affected.  Up to two thirds of single parents rely on grandparents for childcare. Campaigners are warning that without the contribution of grandparents the Government will fail to meet its welfare reform targets. But Grandparents Plus is not asking for grandparents to be paid for providing childcare, only that they should receive a credit towards their pension if they are unable to work as a result.

      New government regulations are expected later this month which will set out how parents of children aged 12 or under and carers of adults will be eligible for a weekly credit towards their state pension form 2010. Currently parents (mostly mothers) who stay at home can qualify for Home Responsibilities Protection. State pension reform was debated during the passage of the 2007 Pensions Act. At the time the Government won praise for its steps to improve pension coverage for women but ministers stopped short of including grandparents, promising to give the issue more thought. Now, campaigners say, as the regulations are being drafted it is the last chance for ministers to make sure grandparents are included.

      The campaign is backed by Steve Webb MP, Pensions Spokesperson for the Lib Dems and for the Conservatives by the Worthing MP, Peter Bottomley.  It is being spearheaded in the Lords by the Labour Peer Baroness Hollis of Heigham.

      Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of Grandparents Plus said:
      "It is time to make grandparental care count. Under the Government's pension reforms if a mother stays at home to care for her child she will get a weekly credit towards her state pension but if she goes back to work and her own mother gives up work to care for the child, the grandmother will get nothing.  Yet she is the one who could be facing the imminent prospect of poverty in retirement. That cannot be fair and we want the Government to look at this again."

      "The stark truth is that without the contribution of grandparents welfare reform will fail.  It is time that ministers recognised that. Ending the pensions penalty is the least that we can do."

      Anne Begg MP commented:
      "If we are serious about ensuring that as many women as possible qualify for a basic state pension then we need to make all significant periods of caring count.  The Government has gone a long way towards improving pension provision for women but here is still one gap that is left."

      Steve Webb MP added:
      "Grandparents of working age who spend long hours caring for their grandchildren are already making a big financial sacrifice by giving up the chance to earn. But they are also sacrificing their future pension rights. It is time that the Government recognised the vital work that many grandparents do and ensured that, at the very least, their pension rights are protected when they spend a large part of their week looking after their young grandchildren."

      For further information contact:
      Sam Smethers at Grandparents Plus on 020 89818001 or 07961 381630. [Link Removed]

      Notes to editors:

      1.Grandparents NI Credit EDM

      1. Anne Begg MP2. Dr Ian Gibson MP
      3. Frank Field MP4. Peter Bottomley MP
      5. Steve Webb MP6. Kelvin Hopkins MP

      That this House recognises the vital contribution of grandparents who provide childcare to two thirds of working families; further recognises that grandparents are fundamental to the success of the Government's welfare reform strategy as lone parents are particularly reliant upon grandparental childcare; acknowledges that over 9 out of 10 grandparents who provide childcare do so for no payment or financial reward; notes that this may be at some cost to themselves, particularly where grandparents who could be in work are unable to be and so do not make national insurance contributions towards their own state pension; welcomes the fact that from 2010 parents and carers who provide care for at least 20 hours per week will receive a weekly credit towards their state pension entitlements; notes that it is overwhelmingly women who are the carers and grandparents in these situations; and urges Government to include the care that grandparents provide in the definition of caring set out by regulation in accordance with Section 3 (3)c of the Pensions Act 2007.

      2. Establishing the number of grandparents affected is difficult because this information is not collected. There are 14 million grandparents. The average age for becoming a grandparent is 49. More than one third of grandparents spend the equivalent of more than 3 days per week caring for their grandchildren. At least 3 in 10 (28.9%) grandparents are in paid work. Of those grandparents in paid work at third (34.3%) are working part-time and two thirds (65.7%) are working full-time. It is estimated that up to 500,000 grandparents are affected.  

      3. From April 2010 parents of children aged under 12, those with disabled children, approved foster carers and carers of adults will be able to claim a weekly credit towards their basic state pension if they are providing 20 hours of care per week or more.

      4. Baroness Hollis of Heigham's amendment, debated on 4th June 2007, during the passage of the 2007 Pensions Act can be found here.
      [Link Removed]

      Grandparents Plus, a national charity covering England and Wales, promotes the vital role of grandparents and the extended family in children's lives, particularly where parents are no longer able to care for their children. We do this through partnerships, evidence based projects and training to support practitioners, through networks newsletters and consultations to give grandparents, extended families and grandchilcren a voice.


      Ganmaof3, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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