Friday, 25 March 2011

Carers need action NOW from Coalition government

By TBofB Partner Carer Watch

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.


Carer Watch campaigns    
National Pensioners Convention      
Carers UK         
Daily Mirror
Age UK – Invisible but invaluable 

Original post can be found here


matthew Occupational Therapist said...


Couldn't agree more but at the moment it seems to just be all about the savings - wouldn't it be amazing if that all changes nearer to election time?!? I look forward to hearing any reply you receive from IDS and DWP.....

matthew Occupational Therapist said...

I often wonder if the govt understand the true stress carers are under and the support they need - you'd this Mr Cameron would at least have a realistic understanding. And I would of thought an even stronger argument would of been the cost savings they provide!!!

Robert said...

Bet it's nothing to the stress of the disabled person who will go through New labours WCA tests, do you.