Hundreds of carers and lone parents in Clare will benefit from new social protection measures that will come into force next week, according to Fine Gael TD Joe Carey.

Carers will receive carer’s allowance for an additional 12 weeks if the person they are caring for moves into full-time care. There are almost 70,000 carers in Ireland and it’s estimated that at least 1,000 will benefit from this extension next year.

Lone parents will be allowed to earn more while retaining their full one-parent family or jobseekers’ transitional payments as the income disregards for both schemes will rise by €20, from €90 to €110 a week to encourage one parent families to remain at work.

“This measure will benefit lone parents earning more than €90 per week. Some 40,000 people receive the one-parent family payment supporting almost 73,000 children. Some 14,500 lone parents receive the jobseeker’s transitional payment,” Deputy Carey explained.

“The change to the Carer’s Allowance is being introduced following discussions with the Family Carer’s Association in the lead up to the last Budget.  When a carer’s caring role ends with the care recipient moving into permanent residential care, the carer requires a transition period during which they can adapt to and plan for their life post-caring.

“These are two very progressive changes to the social welfare code. They come into force in the first week of January and will be the start of many more progressive changes to come,” he added.