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.
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.
NotesCarer Watch campaigns
National Pensioners Convention
Age UK – Invisible but invaluable
Original post can be found here