Labour support for kinship allowance

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David Roth
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Labour support for kinship allowance

Postby David Roth » Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:16 pm

An article in today's Daily Telegraph reports that in Labour's policy review they are in favour of a kinship allowance:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/maryriddell/8587748/If-you-want-to-rebuild-Britain-the-family-is-a-good-place-to-start.html

"Of the ideas they discussed, including community centres for all ages and extra citizenship teaching, the most popular was a scheme to give grandparents the right to take paternity leave to cover for an absent father as well as pay and leave entitlements for those who care full-time for their grandchildren. A "kinship allowance" is now likely to be a key part of Labour's policy."

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FRG Policy Adviser
David Roth
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Kate
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Re: Labour support for kinship allowance

Postby Kate » Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:41 pm

Thanks for the link David - I hope they see stick with this and get the chance to make it reality.

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David Roth
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Re: Labour support for kinship allowance

Postby David Roth » Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:34 pm

FRG will be writing to Ed Miliband, on behalf of the Kinship Care Alliance, to ask for a meeting to discuss how this could be made a reality.

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Kate
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Re: Labour support for kinship allowance

Postby Kate » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:01 pm

Great, let us know what response you get David [:)]

fatcat
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Re: Labour support for kinship allowance

Postby fatcat » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:08 pm

that's funny. when it was put to ministers two years ago to introduce a national kinship allowance, made available to all kinship carers and paid through the DWP, they said it was too expensive and chose to leave it to a postcode lottery.

they had the opportunity to make sweeping changes of real benefit, and chose not to.

the party in opposition can afford tobe generous...just look at the lib dems now.

nice thought and everything, but meaningless all the same.

Kate
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Re: Labour support for kinship allowance

Postby Kate » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:43 pm

Good point fatcat, but you never know, the change of leadership might make a difference. One can dream ..

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David Roth
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Re: Labour support for kinship allowance

Postby David Roth » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:02 am

Part of the problem has always been that the cost of introducing a national allowance has not been known, as there have not been reliable figures about the numbers of children nationally who are living with family and friends carers. The figure that is usually quoted, of 2 to 300,000, is a very rough estimate that was made by FRG many years ago. The Treasury has been very reluctant to commit itself to a spending commitment which could not be properly costed.

The research now being carried out by Bristol Unoversity and Buttle UK should help to address this. The paper they published last week used the 2001 census to calculate that at that time there were 173,200 children in the UK living in households where their parents were not present but there was an adult relative. This figure would not cover children who were being raised by friends, or children being raised by grandparents where their parenbts were still in the home, so the actual figure is going to be a bit bigger, and the number is likely to have gone up over the last 10 years, but we are at last close to having a properly worked figure that we can use for some estimated costings. The next stage of the Buttle/Bristol study will look in more details at the lives and circumstances of those family and friends carers who are not part of the looked after system.

If a political party even in opposition is talking about adopting a kinship allowance as a policy, then we have to engage with them. If it is going to be their policy, then we might as well contribute to helping them make it a good policy. And politicians do know that they lose face and lose votes by not sticking to their commitments - that perception of the LibDems hasn't made them very popular after all.

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lancs lass
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Re: Labour support for kinship allowance

Postby lancs lass » Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:58 pm

Hi David just to let you know about three years ago Ed Miliband came to see our support group PADA in Liverpool we made no bones about our circumstances and he left with no illusions as to the plight of kinship carers, in fact his facial expression at times could only be described one of disbelief (the eyes said it for me they were quite glazed over at times) that in todays society there are thousands of children who have fallen through the net. It would appear that his memory of our tales of woe were soon forgotton on his return to London as we have heard nothing from him since then. I have always said we walk in and the Goverment walk away they damn well know the situation and have done for years they just choose to ignore the situation. Good Luck

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David Roth
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Re: Labour support for kinship allowance

Postby David Roth » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:31 am

Thanks for that information, lancs lass. It does help to know that Ed Miliband is already aware of the issues we hope to raise with him.

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