Posts Tagged ‘Carers’

Will Iain Duncan Smith turn up for Welfare Debate

4 May 2015

welfare debate

 

Twitter users  –   #WelfareDebate15

Tuesday May 5th Daily Politics debate

BBC2    2pm

BBC Parliament  9.00pm

BBC News  9.30pm

Presenters  Andrew Neil and Alison Holt

Participants

Iain Duncan Smith  Conservative

Rachel Reeves            Labour

Steve Webb                  LibDems

Suzanne Evans           UKIP

Jonathan Bartley       Green Party

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Non-attendance (see below) recently by the purveyors of welfare reform suggests that they deem themselves to be unaccountable for their actions.

Will Mr Smith attend this debate or will the quiet man become the invisible man AGAIN

Iain Duncan Smith fails to show up for General Election hustings in his own constituency

Britain asks: where is David Cameron?

Wirral West MP Esther McVey pulls out of live radio interview in Liverpool city centre

‘Ashamed’ Tories quit Newsnight welfare debate at the last moment

Many disabled people and carers will be watching this show. They have borne the brunt of these cuts and are living in dread of the prospect of the further £12billion cuts to welfare promised by the Conservatives.

Carers deserve a livable income

1 April 2015

With many thanks to those that added their name in support of this letter to the Guardian.

If you wish to add your support please add your name in the comments section

What does Carers Allowance mean to you ?  again leave a comment.

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Family carers are among the most responsible members of society. CarerWatch, along with others, believes suggestions made in recent leaked documents of moving carers to universal credit would result in an unfair system that gives no recognition whatsoever of the contribution carers make to society.

DWPCarerWatch believes that governments should accept their responsibility to carers. Carers deserve a livable income, a separate benefit which recognises that they are not unemployed or “passive” recipients of benefit but are making an important contribution to society.

Those in receipt of carer’s allowance cannot be classed as being inactive. Carers are unique within the benefit system in that they have to (more…)

Poor Sir Malcolm Rifkind – From a Welfare Recipient

24 February 2015

copied over from Huff Post Politics

Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP suggests £60k, which goes up to £80k due to his chairmanship of parliamentary intelligence committee, justifies offering his services to a “Chinese company” for extra renumeriation. The sting has seen him suspended from The Conservative Party. I reflect that leaving my professional career to look after my disabled brother, saves the taxpayer the equivalent to paying his salary.

Dear Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP

I can sympathise you want a professional pay package to compensate you for the sacrifice you have made in public service. I can only apologise that sacrificing my own professional career to continue the care of my disabled brother, saving the tax payer £80,000 a year, was not enough to keep you in the manner you wish to be accustomed. (more…)

“The only time I can see my future is sadly when my mum passes away”

23 January 2015

 

 

Audio from LBC –  CLICK HERE

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Petrie Hosken LBC  hears from Joshua in Manor House who is too poor to properly care for his mother.

This is the reality faced by many carers. Please share

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If you need advice and support please contact admin@carerwatch.com

You can also contact the following organisations –

CarersUK

CarersTrust

Alzheimers Society

 

 

 

Carers Rights Day – November 28th 2014

27 November 2014

CARERS RIGHTS DAY 2014

When undertaking a new task it is vital you read the manuals first. The more information you take on board at the beginning, can hopefully be of benefit to you as you go along.

Caring can be like that. For many people they can become carers in the blink of an eye, for others it is a slow progress of offering assistance, that in time takes over your life and becomes a full time job. We always think it happens to someone else so no, or very little, preparation is taken.

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Yet the impact of being an unpaid carer can be felt on every aspect of your life. From finances, employment, social time, education, family life etc.

With the current welfare reforms, cuts to social care – there has never been a greater need than now for carers to be informed of their rights, to be signposted to support.

Check with your local council if your town has a local support group, or input your area here

There are national organisations online that have free phone numbers if needing advice, online forums where you can meet other carers.

CarersUK

CarersTrust

If you have any questions/ need more information please email  admin@carerwatch.com or leave a comment below

 

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Carers pushed to breaking point

11 September 2014

Press release from CarersUK

11 September 2014

Carers across the UK are being pushed to the brink – suffering exhaustion, physical and mental breakdown as they struggle to care for older or disabled loved ones.

Carers UK’s Carers at breaking point research – based on a survey of over 5,000 carers1 – shows:

  • 6 in 10 caring for an older, disabled or seriously ill loved one have reached breaking point.
  • A quarter needing medical treatment as a result.
  • 63% suffered depression and 79% reported anxiety.

see in full here

 

Response from Paul Burstow re LibDem policies for carers

30 July 2014

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

We received wide spread support for the post, and also exchanged tweets with Paul Burstow, Liberal Democrat MP for Sutton and Cheam. As a result we contacted Mr Burstow asking if he wished to respond more fully to our comments.  (Many carers are tied to the home and engaging online is their only way of engaging with politicians.)

You can read his reply below……..

Feel free to add comments/questions. We will be sending copies to Mr Burstow, along with politicians from other parties.  Any replies will be posted in the open again.

 

A few weeks ago Nick Clegg announced the first of a series of policies for carers.  The Carer’s Bonus, £250 paid annually, on top of the Carers Allowance, for the carer to use as they see fit.  The proposal sparked a lot of debate, and CarerWatch posted a strong critique of the plan.  I am grateful for the opportunity to respond.

Caring responsibilities can come at any time in a person’s life and can exact a heavy price in both health and wealth. About 6 in 10 of us will become carers at some point in our lives, and 45% of carers have given up work to care.

The bonus idea was developed by the Liberal Democrats Ageing Society Working Group, which I chair, as part of our Age Ready Britain policy paper.

The bonus would be paid annually to Carers to use as they see fit, for example as a contribution toward extra costs such as taking a break. To start with it would be set at £125, doubling to £250 no later than 2020. The Bonus is more like a direct payment to contribute to things like respite care. It is not intended to be an answer to all the financial challenges faced by Carers.

This would put extra money in Carers’ hands to make their own decisions about how it can best support them.  The Carer’s Bonus marks out our commitment to promoting the wellbeing of carers and is the first of a number of proposals aimed at better supporting carers that we spell out in our policy paper Age Ready Britain which will be published in September.

The £250 payment would be available to around a million people based on underlying entitlement to the benefit. So, for example, pensioners who are eligible for Carers allowance but because of overlapping benefit rules do not receive it would receive the Bonus.  It would start at £125 and increase year on year to £250 no later than 2020.

The proposal builds on measures we have taken in Government like investing £400mn in NHS funded respite breaks, or new rights for Carers in the Care Act and Children and Families Act, and rights to flexible working.

I agree with the comments about the earnings disregard and the withdrawal of the benefit when engaged in education and these are issues we address on Age Ready Britain.

Thank you for the opportunity to respond.

Paul

* Paul Burstow is Liberal Democrat MP for Sutton and Cheam.

 

 

 

CarerWatch response to LibDems manifesto promise for carers

6 July 2014

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.

pennies

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.

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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.

Leaders-debate-002

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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Carer issues judicial review proceedings against Iain Duncan Smith

14 June 2014

A disabled grandmother and her granddaughter who provides full time care for her have this week issued judicial review proceedings in the High Court against the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, challenging the inclusion of Carer’s Allowance in the ‘benefit cap.’  The benefit cap policy has been in force across the country since September 2013.

The government has already conceded that the cap had unintended consequences for victims of domestic violence living in women’s refuges, and after the families case was heard in the Court of Appeal, Ian Duncan Smith with no fanfare amended the regulations to remove women’s refuges from the cap.

The proceedings issued this week highlight another consequence of the cap, which may surprise those who consider that the cap achieves fairness. Included in the group of families who are capped are those who receive Carer’s Allowance. To qualify for Carer’s Allowance the benefit claimant has to be providing upwards of 35 hours a week care to a severely disabled person. This means that anyone receiving Carer’s Allowance is by definition not available to work, because they must be providing care.

read in full here

3.      The judicial review challenges Part 8A of the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006, which was inserted by the Benefit Cap (Housing Benefit) Regulations 2012, SI 2012/2994, pursuant to section 96 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012.  The claimants argue that the Regulations are discriminatory and unreasonable.  They also argue that the Secretary of State did not take proper account of the impact of the policy on carers and those they care for, and is irrational.

 

 

Carers Week Quest 9–15 June 2014

9 June 2014

The Carers Week Quest is an exciting new initiative to encourage improved collaborative working in local communities to reach out to carers. It aims to reach out to the thousands of carers in the UK who are currently missing out on services and support.

At the heart of activity will be a focus on working together in local communities to reach as many carers as possible during Carers Week which takes place from Monday 9 to Sunday 15 June 2014.

On this website you will find information and ideas about how you can take part in the Carers Week and pledge your support to the Carers Week Quest by sharing how you plan to reach out to the thousands of carers missing out on support and services.

Further details can be found here

 

 

 


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