Wales' most innovative and influential think tank

Connect: Twitter Facebook LinkedInTel: 01685 350938

The Future of Attendance Allowance

September 1st 2016

Attendance Allowance is claimed by people aged 65+ who need help caring for themselves because of a disability. The UK Government had announced plans to consult on the devolution of responsibility for Attendance Allowance to Wales – a benefit claimed by more than 100,000 people  in Wales at the end of 2015 at a cost of £415 million.

Working with the Welsh Local Government Association, we looked at the advantages and disadvantages of devolving Attendance Allowance to Wales and considered what a devolved Attendance Allowance scheme might look like.


This project looked at the options for devolving responsibility for Attendance Allowance to Wales by:

  • evaluating the Attendance Allowance claimant rate in Wales, including characteristics of claimants and trends.
  • considering the devolution of Attendance Allowance to Northern Ireland, Scotland and local authorities in England.
  • bringing together key stakeholders in Wales to participate in a roundtable discussion on the potential devolution of Attendance Allowance.
  • making recommendations about the potential benefits and negatives of devolving Attendance Allowance.

The published findings are based on analysis of statistics and evidence, and a roundtable discussion which took place in early September 2016.

This was a joint project between the Bevan Foundation and the Welsh Local Government Association.

Note: the UK Government announced in February 2017 that it is no longer considering the devolution of Attendance Allowance to local authorities in England as part of the Business Rates Retention reforms, but no specific reference to Wales has been made.

Start date:  1st August 2016   End date: 31st October 2016


The future of Attendance Allowance

This report explores the future of Attendance Allowance in Wales after it was identified by the UK Government as a possible candidate for devolution. It warns thacover-imaget if the benefit were devolved to local authorities in England, as proposed, it is highly unlikely that it would not also be devolved to Wales. Therefore, the Welsh Government should be taking steps now in preparation. It concludes with five recommendations on how this should be approached:

  1. The Welsh Government should set up an advisory group of disability, social care and welfare benefits experts ahead of a UK Government consultation on devolving the benefit for new claimants.
  2. If it were devolved, the Welsh Government should consider the devolution of responsibility for existing claimants to avoid a two-tier system emerging.
  3. The principles of Wales’ social security system should be determined before the new benefit(s) is designed.
  4. Funding for the devolved benefit should replicate Scotland’s settlement, which is based on previous year’s expenditure and an additional transfer for administration costs, and is then ‘Barnettised’ for future years.
  5. A take-up campaign should be run to maximize the number of Attendance Allowance claimants in Wales to give a more accurate picture of all those who are eligible to claim Attendance Allowance.

Click here to download the report.

Sign up to our free monthly e-newsletter to keep up to date with activities and outputs from this and other projects.


Comments are closed.

In Print

Supporter Magazine

Exchange Issue 10, Spring 2018

“Refreshing, timely and balanced – Exchange has its finger on the pulse” The latest edition of our exclusive supporters’ magazine brings together a range of contributors to explore some of the most current and important issues in Welsh public life. Read more »

Exchange – Issue 9

Well-being in Wales The latest edition of our exclusive supporters’ magazine looks at well-being in Wales from a range of different perspectives. Our excellent range of contributors looks at health and social care in Wales while considering different aspects of Read more »

More from the Supporter Magazine »

Other Publications

Poverty in Wales 2018

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s latest report provides an up-to-date analysis on the current status of poverty in Wales The report looks back over the last twenty years, examining the poverty trends in Wales, comparing Wales with the rest of the Read more »

More from Other Publications »


Stay informed

Keep up to date and gain new insights and inspiration with Spark, our FREE e-news

Sign Up For Insights »

Support Us

Support lasting solutions today!

We need YOUR help to create equality, justice and prosperity for everyone in Wales

Support Us »


May 11th 2018

Understanding Poverty

UNDERSTANDING POVERTY:  What it means for your organisation and what you can do about it 11th May 2018, 1.30 – 4.30 Erddig Room, Glyndwr University, Wrexham Essential training for everyone working with people on low incomes WE REGRET THAT THIS EVENT Read more »