WHY have family carers been failed again?

For several years now CarerWatch, along with other campaigners, have fought for Carers’ benefits to be improved. However, past and present governments, have continuously failed to address both the low level of the allowance, £55.55 per week, or tackle the restrictions which bar many carers from claiming.

We have repeatedly taken our concerns to Ministers, DWP, MPs, all of which have been ignored. We were outraged with the present Welfare Reform Bill/Act, as once again carers’ benefits were overlooked.

This was frustrating as the current Secretary of State for Works and Pensions, Mr Iain Duncan Smith, had previously recommended an increase in the allowance when with the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), an independent think tank he set up.

In the report, Breakthrough Britain, it was stated –

 “”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“”

Considering we are witnessing the biggest reform of welfare benefits in over 60 years,

WHY have family carers been failed again?

Why, on March 14th 2012, did Mr Paul Burstows answer a question from Mr Jim Cunningham and state:

 The Cross Government’s Carers Strategy “Recognised, valued and supported: Next steps for the Carers’ Strategy”, recognises that carers should not face financial hardship and the Departments are working together to take forward various initiatives to support carers in their caring role, through welfare reform and in developing the White Paper on care and support. We are looking at putting the rights of carers on a firmer footing in social care so that they have similar rights to the people they care for.

The WRB received Royal Assent March 8th 2012 and there was NOTHING included that would alleviate the financial hardship being faced by many carers.

With a White paper due for care and support, can we be at all hopeful that the Dept of Health will succeed where other departments have failed. Time will tell.

A recent report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights  urges the Government to conduct an impact assessment on the cumulative impact of the current reforms on disabled people. It considers that this is required by law.

This mirrors exactly what is asked  for with Pat’s Petition – a pause to consider the impact of the ‘perfect storm’ of changes. Too many of these changes will impact on family carers and we urge everyone to sign Pats Petition, share with others.

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6 Responses to “WHY have family carers been failed again?”

  1. Peter Horne Says:

    This government will do exactly what they wish,without regard for anything except the private caring companies,and the wealthy,who do not want tax increases. They constantly talk about fairness, but behave unfairly to all those in our society who are least able to fight back.

  2. onmybiketoo Says:

    I have found it is easy to not listen to us carers as many of us are not able to get away from home to protest, have immediate priorities such as keeping loved ones safe. Our needs always come second. So since we don’t collectively shout out we are easily ignored. We cant go on strike, we don’t have a union, care in the community = no care at all. Divide and conquer and so successive governments have done just that to us.

    My Husband is supposed to 24hr care provided by the NHS funded continuous care scheme but still I cover up their criminal neglect, by continuing to be here on my own for my husband.

  3. danymous Says:

    In saving the government such a truck-load of money by keeping the person I care for out of the residential care system for all these years, and being paid a pittance for devoting a life-time to this drudgery (well, 32 years and running), I consider myself to be treated as a slave, forced into a role that has ruined my own health (tho try getting a GP to do a home visit), and trapped me in a situation that I can escape only by suicide. I have the pills ready. That I have an escape is the only way I can carry on. Hold on til tomorrow, is my mantra.

    When tax credits are abolished, and when I lose my own DLA, I will have reached the end of the road. When I must choose between food and heating, and give up my household insurance, I’m going to call it a day. When they say we must pay for healthcare, I intend to use language so foul and offensive that I will have my day in court. I have been reduced to this, someone spiteful, vengeful, spouting rude hatred against those who own my life.

    The evil Tory government has decided to perpetuate a slow and lingering genocide on all non-productive citizens. No need even to build gas chambers. Let them die in their own homes. I’m about happy to oblige…

  4. jaygow Says:

    With the way they are throwing people off incapacity and onto the work related activity group of ESA without even seeing them, us carers will be no more!! Our people we care for are all now deemed fit to work, so no wonder they don’t care about us!!

    • Vanessa Says:

      Some of us care for children so they’re not yet old enough to be deemed fit for work but I have heard something a while ago about scrapping the middle care rate of DLA if I remember correctly. In which case those carers who care only for somone or only for several someones who get middle care rate DLA may well lose the right to be counted as a carer and have to go out to work or go on workfare and there’s no guarrentees you’ll be allowed hours that fit round school and appointments. That’s inspite of the fact middle care rate DLA recipients still need a lot of care but just don’t need it at night (the key difference between middle and higher rate care DLA). So because you get to sleep at night they will be counted as only needing a bit more support than normal and the carer even if still doing over 35 hours a week care won’t get Carer’s Allowance, will be stuck in U.C. and the benefit cap (there is no way they can do 24hours a week or more within school hours & childcare for special needs children is hard to find and over subscribed where it exists so there is no guarrentee you’ll get the hours you need to be able to work- the more days you need or the more specific about which days the less likely you’ll get what you need & however flexible you are sometimes you’ll get nothing).

  5. Last stages of the Legal Aid bill – time to stand up for access to justice « Carer Watch's Blog Says:

    […] paid to carers is not helped by the Welfare Reform Act. The blog has already reported how this does nothing to alleviate financial hardship for family carers, and how the move from DisabilityLiving Allowance to a “personal independence payment” will […]

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