Back in March this year, the States agreed that they wanted to modernise Guernsey’s benefits system – but only when the island could afford it. One of the changes waiting to be brought in is the introduction of a small “Extra Needs Allowance” for people who have to spend more on energy, laundry, clothing or food because of – for example – disability.
The original date for the introduction of what have become known as the “SWBIC” changes (which include the Extra Needs Allowance), was January 2017. The Committee for Employment and Social Security say that’s now not possible, but they are determined to do it in January 2018. However, the Policy and Resources Committee say there won’t be any extra money for it till 2019 at the earliest, and then only if it is made a priority when the new Policy and Resources Plan is finalised next June.
Shelaine Green, Social Policy Advisor, Guernsey Disability Alliance