Carers need action NOW from Coalition government

 

Carer Watch were pleased to learn in the recent publication of the new Welfare Reform Bill that Carers Allowance will remain outside the proposed Universal Credit. Carer Watch, along with many others, have campaigned long and hard for this.
 
However Carers Allowance has always been completely inadequate and carers still seem to be over looked and forgotten as other benefits are changed around them.

Carer Watch hope that this welcome recognition that carers are unique within the benefit system will be the start of a complete reform of carer benefits so that finally carers receive the support they need.
 
Carers are often described as ‘unsung heroes’, ‘invisible army’, yet under this cloak of invisibility lies family members and friends, providing a service that this country cannot do without. They provide the foundation that underpins both NHS and Social Services.
 
There have been many campaigns over the years by various organisations (see notes below,) all asking for the same – the reform of Carers Allowance – to remove the restrictions therein and also to increase the monetary pittance that CA is.
 
In the report Breakthrough Britain (2007) from the Social Justice Policy Group (policy recommendations to the Conservative Party) it was recommended –

 doubling the carers allowance to £90 a week because of the vast amounts carers save the taxpayer by looking after their sick and elderly relatives at home and not relying on the state to care for them.

Other measures would need be put in place to ensure that families claiming other benefits/premiums were no worse off.

The report also states –  

Family carers are undervalued in our society and receive a disproportionately low level of financial support given the many hours of work that they do.

Therefore, while the decision to keep Carers Allowance separate from the proposed Universal Credit is welcome, this is NOT the end but the start.
 
Carer Watch call on the Coalition government to make a statement explaining how they intend to reform Carers Allowance and ensure that family carers finally receive the full recognition they deserve.

 We will be contacting Iain Duncan Smith and DWP dept. Any response will be added here.

Notes

Carer Watch campaigns    

National Pensioners Convention      

Carers UK         

Daily Mirror

Age UK – Invisible but invaluable

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6 Responses to “Carers need action NOW from Coalition government”

  1. Pete Riches Says:

    At LAST! Someone of the same mind as myself. I’m so sick and tired of the meally mouthed platitudes towards the “Unsung heroes” etc., with maybe a bit of theoretical respite care. That’s not my issue. I want to be paid properly for having given up my career to help another who was in danger of dying on the street if someone didn’t intervene, 23 years ago.

    I don’t need respite, I need to be paid more, dammit. I’m treated like a work-shy scrounger by all and sundry. We’re given absolutely no respect by any government, and as a put-upon group we tend to suffer a broad range of illnesses ourselves, usually stress-related. Living in poverty is unbelievably stressful, and we damn well deserve better than this.

    There’s always money to pay for cruise missiles and another war, but never enough for the public welfare…

  2. James Hood Says:

    I COMPLETELY support this movement. The present level of Allowance is a pittance and doubling it would be a start.
    May I urge all carers to contact their Councillors and MPs and lobby them

  3. Grenville Green Says:

    We are all in this together.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8405614/Expenses-bill-to-soar-as-MPs-force-watchdog-to-relax-rules.html

    • ians12 Says:

      All in it together but some of us get free credit cards and a second home in London all paid for by the taxpayer.

      Its totally obscene that Cameron has badgered the watchdog into increasing MPs perks whilst arrogantly brushing aside concerns about the coming cuts in benefits to the poor and the sick.

      The sooner Cameron is exposed as the evil behind these attacks on the poor the better, people will see him for what he is, a nasty spoilt bully with no conscience at all.

  4. Gallus Effie Says:

    I got a letter in from the DWP a few days ago saying how Carer’s Allowance is going up to £55.55 per week.

    I love how the MP’s who earn TWICE the national average wage tell unpaid family carers they should be given an allowance less than HALF the national minimum wage.

    For a small start, I would welcome parity with JobSeeker’s Allowance. To be paid (now) £9.90 a week less than someone who is doing no work for the UK is patently wrong. I would also welcome their concomitant benefits such as free prescriptions and dental care and be allowed concessions as much as the unwaged.

    But it’s always Jam Tomorrow, not Jam Today.

  5. Anon Says:

    Of the UK’s 6 million carers, half are over 50. The Princess Royal Trust for Carers recently surveyed older carers and found that two-thirds report long-term health problems of their own. A majority say that being a carer has a negative impact on their mental health.

    “Having been a carer myself,” says Dame Judi Dench, “I understand the stresses and strains involved in looking after a loved one. There are many, many older carers around the country doing tremendous work looking after their family or friends but it’s often at a cost to the carer’s own health and well-being. Carers already save our economy billions and they need more support to enable them to continue in their caring role.”

    Recommendations

    The Princess Royal Trust for Carers is calling for the following:

    GPs to offer a physical check to older carers once a year
    Older carers to be screened for depression once a year
    GPs to offer home visits to carers, who often can’t guarantee to get out
    Hospital appointments to be flexible for carers
    Carers who do heavy lifting to be funded for training and equipment to do so safely
    Carers to be guaranteed breaks

    http://www.gransnet.com/campaigns/older-carers–princess-royal-

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