Today we join Carers UK in their latest campaign – Fairer for Carers. Along with 90 other organisations, we signed an open letter to the Work and Pensions Secretary, copied to the Chancellor, to call for better financial support for unpaid carers looking after people who are older, disabled or seriously ill.
We are calling for an urgent rise in the level of Carer’s Allowance. Despite the huge contribution they are making, too many unpaid carers and their families face financial hardship – at least 1.2 million unpaid carers are living in poverty. Compounding this – on average – each day, 600 people have to give up paid work to care unpaid – many don’t get the support needed to juggle both.
Caring already came at a cost, but carers finances have only got worse since the current crisis began;
- 81% of carers have seen increased financial costs relating to caring since the COVID-19 outbreak;
- 72% are spending more on food and;
- 50% are spending more on household bills.
- 38% were “worried about my financial situation”.
We believe it is time to make Carer’s Allowance #FairerforCarers to support carers on the lowest incomes, that is why we are calling for an immediate increase in the level of Carer’s Allowance. We’re calling on Government to introduce a supplement to recognise the extra costs unpaid carers have faced during the pandemic, and to increase the earnings limit so those on low incomes can earn more.
Our coalition of 92 charities wants to see:
- A Carer’s Allowance supplement that matches the increase Government made to Universal Credit to recognise the additional costs experienced by carers during the pandemic.
- For the earnings limit for claiming Carer’s Allowance to be raised, to ensure those juggling work and care on low pay also receive support.
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