§ Mrs. Jill Knight
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will seek to amend section 37 of the Social Security Act 1975 to allow a wife who has to give up her job to look after a sick husband to claim invalid care allowance in the same way as a husband who has to give up his job to look after a sick wife.
§ .Dr Boyson
I regret that we have no plans to do so. To extend eligibility for invalid care allowance to married women as a group would cost over £60 million a year net. It can therefore be seen as only one of a number of possibilities for consideration in the context of what is available for social security spending as a whole. My hon. Friend will, however, appreciate that a married woman looking after her sick husband would gain little or nothing from an extension of invalid care allowances since her husband, in receipt of a benefit, will already have an increase for his wife.