CarerWatch response to LibDems manifesto promise for carers

According to Mr Clegg, some carers experience ‘an unbearable burden’. As such, under the LibDem election promise, they will receive a ‘reward’ paid annually to allow them to have a break. This ‘reward’? £125 a year paid to those who receive carers allowance only. He suggests that ‘ Some carers might use the money to hire a care assistant to help them out for a week’

How out of touch are the Lib Dems?


Mr Clegg, have you ever tried to employ a care assistant for £125 a week? 

Mr Clegg, have you ever tried working 24/7 and only having one week a year off? (Many carers get no breaks at all)

Mr Clegg, are you aware that many carers are not entitled to Carers Allowance

Carers do not want you to ‘show our thanks and ease the pressure the nation’s carers face’ by giving some of us a paltry £125 a year.


Carers Allowance is paid at a rate below that of all other income replacement benefits. Consequently any annual uprating has a minimal impact and does not reflect the rise in the cost of living, reducing carers spending power year on year and increasing the income gap between carers and the rest of society.

Carers in receipt of other income replacement benefits are excluded from claiming Carers Allowance due to the overlapping benefit rule.

Carers who have previously been entitled to Carers Allowance find that this is removed on reaching retirement age causing distress and anger, this can be after decades of caring for a sick or disabled relative.

The current £102 earnings limit at which Carers Allowance is withdrawn is a disincentive for carers who could combine work and caring to contemplate work or, for those in part-time employment, to increase their hours.

The withdrawal of Carers Allowance when a carer embarks on an educational course at college or university that entails more than 21 hours study per week acts as a barrier to carers wishing to engage in education and training in order to update their skills with a view to entering or re-entering the workplace. Many financially-assisted educational courses do not have Carers Allowance on their list of qualifying benefits for reduced fees, making engaging in education unaffordable.

Correction added, thanks to Charles47  ( The blog has a mistake: the 21 hour rule is notional. If the course is for (example) 10 hours only, but the college or university calls it a full time course – you lose your Carers Allowance. So for many carers, there’s no incentive to train.)

For many carers, caring is a full-time occupation. In order to qualify for Carers Allowance, either paid or underlying,  a carer must spend a minimum of 35 hours caring per week, many carers care for substantially more than the minimum 35 hours. Although not perceived as such, caring is a full-time job and can involve meeting physical needs, psychological needs and social needs, supervision, prompting, dealing with health and care services, managing finances, medication, cleaning, shopping, virtually every aspect of daily living.

Carers have no regular hours of work, have no entitlement to breaks, days off, holidays or sick leave, they are not covered by health and safety legislation and frequently suffer injury as a consequence of caring. For the majority of full-time carers employment is not an option, for those they care for, being left with strangers is not an option.


The real term reductions in Treasury funding for local authorities has resulted in tightening eligibility criteria, the closure of day centres and increased care costs, reducing the number of people able to access or afford social care. Family carers are increasingly providing the care that would have been previously been provided by the State.

All governments, past and present, have demonstrably failed to meet the financial needs of carers who do not have the option of taking up employment.

CarerWatch members believe that family carers are not an optional extra to be added on as an after thought.  ALL political parties need to amend their attitude towards family carers and make some speed in deciding how to adequately fund family carers.

To this end, we strongly advise Mr Clegg and his party to go back to the drawing board.

Carers do not need half baked promises/policies that will bring about so little change for so few carers.


Time will tell what manifesto promises Labour and Conservative parties bring forth. We remember well the hustings of 2010.

Carer issues were aired more than ever, and yet there has been NO real improvements.

Watch this space


.Please feel free to leave comments below


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27 Responses to “CarerWatch response to LibDems manifesto promise for carers”

  1. pam robson Says:

    words just fail you, don’t they.
    stupid, stupid man who has no idea at all what its like to be a carer and how condescending of him to propose a yearly payment of £125.
    that would not even pay for good quality care for one day!!!

  2. Nick Says:

    He has not a clue nick clegg and the others

    They say they are educated but i find absolutely no evidence of this in their personal demeanour. I have been around some of the world’s best educated in my 60 years but nick is so out of touch

    He reminds me like the rest of the government of the modern day estate agents where you’re told what you think you need to be told come what may, without an ounce of any understanding of the topic in hand

  3. Sue Brock Says:

    This is just an insult to carers! Seriously £125 is barely enough to cover care for one night (10pm to 7am) let alone a week! Are the Lib Dems really that stupid or are they saying this just hoping that most of the population will not have a clue re the cost of getting care in? Agencies charge upwards of £800 a week in my area!

    • Nick Says:

      caring can only be undertaking by certain types of people anyhow outside of the family in reality the uk is very poor in the caring of others and has been for years

      for my part i have played a caring role over the past 60 years for free to my various neighbours that i have had and i may add have been rewarded with the ultimate going on to be their power of attorney

      if i had to pass an exam thou you could be sure i would have failed so much for the muddled thinking at government level the past 60 years

  4. Angela Cavill-Burch (@onmybiketoo) Says:

    well written and speaks for me too.

  5. Jean Eveleigh Says:

    wish this was an open letter so I could add my signature to it

  6. paulrutherford8 Says:

    Reblogged this on UnderOccupied and commented:
    Does Nick Clegg seriously believe that he knows anything about the reality of life for Kinship-Carers?
    What he is ‘offering’ is about as patronising as anything I’ve ever heard. It costs us around £320 a week to have carers helping with Warren for 40 hours. How would any carer be able to have a week’s holiday with £125?
    I could spit.

  7. Elizabeth Says:

    This what Mr Clegg says he will do suppose to help us carers is a load of rubbish and hot air and and will do nothing to help me or any carer, as what will £125 help to pay for not a help the support help for us to have a week off it would not at to days prices pay for even one day at the rates they all charge, I am in the bracket of the underlying of the carers allowance I do not get paid and my careing for my son of 29 years is 24/7 not a single minute of
    space I get and no holiday for over 13 years not one day. I get the very low and mean lowest pension I am being made to pay back a pension credit from my pension even though my husband gets full pension. be cause he did a few jobs and I did not realize I had to tell when he worked as never ever having claimed anything before in my life I never knew the ropes of all these benefits they now hand out.
    I am one that is on the lowest income possible and they have the cheek to increase rates which is beyond me ever able to pay as do not know where I can pay £280 a month for council rates we are with South Kesteven council they have really over done it this time I use to many years back think Conservative was a good government and always fair with disabled with Liberal also now I have certainly changed my mind as we have no parties that are even fit to govern any country as they are all fighting like spoil t children and deserve no votes any of them from the British Public I am British born and bread and I have to admit I feel very shamed of our country and what is happening here now and fear for my disabled sons future the all parties should be a shamed of them selves for there own behavier .

  8. Sue Rees Says:

    Edinburgh City Council makes a yearly payment to carers based on whether they have been assessed on their caring role for support from the council. As I work part time that’s all the financial help I get.

    • Elizabeth Says:

      WE here get no payments from South Kesteven council, and only provide care support if you sign a form giving the right for them to reaccess the disable person for care support if they are left property after the parents have diedzand means they can take any thing from the disabled person with no question and can leave the disabled person with nothing as like my son he would not understand what they are taking or doing. so Mr Clegg better start finding out the real meaning of being a carer and what it is like and how hard it is, as it is really terrible hard and does not help matter when councils like ours have put council tax rates to £280 a month where on earth am I going to get tha teach month when I don’t get £280 a month in pension

  9. Charles47 Says:

    A few points:

    1) £125 is worth £2.40 a week. I could buy a latte on that but not much else. Many carers can’t get out to buy a latte.

    2) The blog has a mistake: the 21 hour rule is notional. If the course is for (example) 10 hours only, but the college or university calls it a full time course – you lose your Carers Allowance. So for many carers, there’s no incentive to train.

    3) Let’s see a commitment to increase Carers Allowance and to guarantee a proper break to every carer who needs one. And even then, I wouldn’t vote for the LibDems after what they’ve done to this country.

  10. radicalpeter Says:

    never had sweet FA from any pervert politian’s in twenty years of caring for my wife, in fact caring in Britain is a sack of shit cos nobody gives a Thomas tit about us …

    • Elizabeth Says:

      I also have never had a help from any one my son is 29 years old I have been his mum and carer from when I noticed at 3 and half that he had something wrong but doctors took no notice of me and ignored he was brain dmaged before and after birth and all caused by a doctors negligence who should have learnt to rad medical notes written by my consultant and my son should have been treated then, a hearing doctor has only last year confirmed that my son not only is registered blind and has lerning problems and a lot of other things but was also profoundly deaf all of his life and a doctor just last year wrote a letter saying that I had bee ignored with what I have always told other doctor, but still get not help at all and never had anything for my son nothing I have lost trust in any party at the moment and not sure to ever believe again and fear for my son when I am no longer here as it wil lget worse for people like my son, as they not only get ignored in the medical system but have to contend with the rudeness of the general public at large as they also have no respect for the disabled

      • Sue Says:

        Hi Elizabeth. Just wanting to make sure you do get DLA and ESA for your son?

      • Elizabeth Says:

        Hi Sue I do get the DLA and what use to be called S/disablement but that is all but how My Clegg says any payments as he says like that £125 a year only goes to them that gets the Carers Allowance, but like me if you are retired and only have the underlying entitlement to it, you do not qualify fir anything as because have a pension even if you only get the very lowest basic pension, you still do not get it. And they to dayt expect when you have a pension as we all thought when younger we pay for a pension for us as one person but I was told by a person at pension service that our pensions are also if you have a disable person it is to also look after them too, so any one who is young now beware if you become a carer and when retire you have ti use your pension also for them sorry these governments and other parties have never mentioned anything for the disabled well yes but they only ones they mention are the forces disabled sorry to say that but the real ones who was born with theres they have never got anything..DLA yes and S/disablement that is all no help or support they will only provide that if you sign a form saying if they inherit your property when you die. they can come and take that property and use to re-access there care and like my son he would not understand what they are taking.
        so care support is non any where. thank you your reply Elizabeth

      • Sue Says:

        Hi Elizabeth. I think you need some financial advice. My son is 21 now. He lives with me and I care for him full time. His “needs” have been assessed by social services and he gets a direct payment which pays for 9 hours a week support and a tutor for 1 hour a week. I also claimed the new Employment and Support allowance for him (this replaced Incapacity benefit I think). Maybe it is the same as the s/disablement that your son gets? I cant retire until I am 66 but I know at that point I will lose the carers allowance as it is not paid to pensioners at all. Re your home there may be a way to get it put in trust or something for your son? You need some sound advice re the future I think. You are also entitled to have a carers assessment but whats on offer by way of help and support is thin on the ground and varies from country to county :0( And you are quite right —– Cleggs offer of £125 a year is a drop in the ocean!

      • Elizabeth Says:

        Hi Sue I did have a carers assessment but that is it got too as said but never got anything else, and they as did do that one where would provide so many hours but they also want you to sign the right to come and reassess when he inherits anything and I knew even if you out in trust for them they if there is no one else to handle things financially as my son would need they can over ride any trust you put in force for them and still take, ver having any help or support he is not very trusting of them and the people they are suppose to get for the support help they are only advertising off the street and we have see from how other disabled who have these support help works they are not very happy and not pleasant we saw one downs girl with hers and gosh they were not the happyess helpers and I even asked for my son to have help for a course he likes which like you I am full time carer and have taught my son yo learn things I taught him the camera and he has done really well only by my tutoring he has page on Facebook called
        Focus Images and you will be so surprised I know need to have a trust but finding right people and where to start, Thank you Elizabeth
        Mr Clegg yes talking old rope this is the only time Conservatives have not taking a notice if disabled as remember years back if a disabled need help and support they were the first to help but no not any more seems only way a disabled gets help and support you have to be in the forces sorry again for speaking like that but it is true .

  11. pat butler Says:

    I agree with all that is written here as a family we care for an adult with a learning disablility who needs constant supervision. Apart from 15 hours per week this care is provided by his Dad, All’s relatively well at the moment he manages the best he can but what happens in the future. We try not to dwell on this but dread it as the provision at the moment would not meet his son’s

    • Elizabeth Says:

      I agree to what you have said as this is my thoughts fir my son too, as I care for him 24/7 and he also has learning problems and and loads of other ones to that has become worse as he gets older and I worry too of how the provision is at the moment around in my area as there is really nothing for people like me son when I am no longer here my fears are for my son’s welfare and aso there is not one that is trust worthy to deal and his needs and his finances and this greatly worries me as my son cannot tell the difference from if a person is being honest he is a very vulnerable person.

  12. Response from Paul Burstow re LibDem policies for carers | Carer Watch's Blog Says:

    […] Recently CarerWatch posted a response relating to a manifesto promise for carers from the LibDems.  You can read it here […]

  13. carerwithattitude Says:

    Reblogged this on Carer with Attitude! and commented:
    Exactly. Took the words out of my mouth! Just because we are paid nothing, we cannot be paid off with nothing, Mr Clegg

  14. Elizabeth Says:

    £125 is nothing as you cannot buy hardly nothing for that, even with carers allowance it still amounts to nothing, but those of us who only have the entitlement to carers allowance it is still less than nothing he I agree has noi idea about caring for some one and Mr Cameron seems to have forgotten he once had a son who was disable out of sight out of mind as they say.

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