Each year the Queen opens a new session of Parliament with a speech setting out theÂ Governmentâ€™s legislative plans for the forthcoming session.
The speech in May 2013 set out nineteen pieces of legislation or draft legislation for 2013-14.
Alongside bills on immigration, consumer rights and crime the Government plans two significantÂ pieces of legislation for carers â€“ care and support services and pensions. This briefing summarisesÂ what these pieces of legislation would mean for carers.
For more details about the other legislation in the Queenâ€™s Speech visitÂ www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/queens-speech-2013.
The Queenâ€™s Speech confirmed that new care and support legislation will soon be considered byÂ Parliament. The new Bill will consolidate the framework of social care law, introduce greater rightsÂ to assessments and services for carers, and implement recommendations made by the DilnotÂ Commission on long-term care funding, including introducing a cap on care costs and raising theÂ financial means test.
Much of the Billâ€™s clauses on the reform of care and support have already been published in theÂ form of the Draft Care and Support Bill which was considered in detail by a ParliamentaryÂ Committee. Carers UK has warmly welcomed the draft provisions but we have also called for aÂ number of important changes when the final Bill is presented to Parliament, and have argued thatÂ to make the principles of the Bill a reality, urgent action will be needed to tackle the social careÂ funding gap. A full briefing on our key tests for the Bill is available atÂ www.carersuk.org/professionals/resources/briefings
A Bill to reform the State Pension will also be debated. The Government plans to introduce a singleÂ flat-rate pension to replace the current system which includes the Basic State Pension, the SecondÂ State Pension and means-tested support for pensioners on low incomes. The Government hasÂ said that this single-tier pension will be set above the basic level of means-tested supportÂ pensioners receive from Pension Credit â€“ which would currently be Â£142.70 for a single pensioner.
The Government argues that this would simplify the pensions system and make it easier for peopleÂ to plan for retirement.
Carers UK has welcomed key parts of the reforms as a way of better protecting people with brokenÂ National Insurance records â€“ including many carers. The Government announced in the BudgetÂ that these reforms would now be implemented in 2016, sooner than expected, which should meanÂ that more people benefit, including some groups who were due to retire before the changes wereÂ implemented and were at risk of missing out.
Nearest tube: Elephant & Castle underground station (Northern and Bakerloo lines).
Nearest Railway Station: Elephant & Castle
Buses from Elephant and Castle: ask bus driver for Burgess Park. Bus numbers: 12, 171, 148, 176, 68, 484, 42, 40, 45