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Greater flexibility for carers.

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From 1 April 2005, the number of hours a carer can work, train or study will increase from 20 to 25 hours, before it impacts on their Carer Payment.

Federal Member Don Randall today confirmed that over 450 carers in the Canning electorate would now be able to increase the time they spend studying or working without losing eligibility for Carer payment.

“I am very pleased that this will have such a positive effect on people in the Canning electorate who currently receive carer payment,” said Mr Randall.

“Some carers, previously excluded from Carer Payment because they work, study or train for more than 20 hours, but less than 25 hours per week, may now be eligible for the payment.

“This increased flexibility will help Carer Payment recipients to develop and maintain work skills so that they have a greater change of finding employment and achieving financial independence, when the caring role ceases.

The increase in hours will be particularly helpful to young carers, who should be encouraged to reach their individual potential by having the opportunity to gain employment, skills and knowledge.

The carer payment increase was a commitment made by the Howard Government during the 2004 election campaign.

“Since 1996, the number of hours a Carer Payment customer can work, train or study has increased from 10 to 25 hours a week, reflecting the importance this Government places on improving carers’ choice and flexibility in undertaking their caring role,” Mr Randall said.