Carers allowance should Mirror the money that carers save the nation

Carers save the nation £87 Billion per year - we should show them the respect they deserve

Carers save the nation £87 Billion per year - we should show them the respect they deserve

£53.10 per week is what a carer gets paid by the state for the full-time work they do for the member (or members) of their family they are looking after.

This, based on a full-time equivalent, means they get £1.52 per hour. If they are in receipt of the state pension, £95.25 (for a single person), or are a student, or have an outside income over £95/week they don’t qualify at all for the carer’s allowance.

With an ageing population we need to be more and more aware of the work that carers do which actually saves the country money. 

Carers UK, the charity that champions the cause of the UKs 6 million carers, has estimated that the work carers do in their own homes would cost the nation £87 Billion/year, if the state had to provide it.  If the carer was unable to provide the care, through whatever reason, this is what would have to happen.

I, for one, could not survive on this paltry amount and feel; although its relatively recent introduction is a welcome lifeline to carers, it really is a benefit that ought to fairly represent the work and commitment that carers give.

Some people tell me that this is just looking after their family and that carers should do it for nothing. However, if I found myself in the position of having to care for a close family member, ignoring the issue of whether I could actually cope with it or not, I would have to abandon my career, and my pay, to care.  As a consequence I would lose my own future to care. The commitment is intellectual, emotional as well as financial.

The next election will increasingly be fought in the environment of social care being a key election battleground.  Liberal Democrats need to make sure that they put their ideas about, and support for, carers at the centre of their manifesto to improve the lives of this often forgotten group in society.

That’s why I will be helping to organise a Carers Rights Day event in my area later in the year others should too.

(I was delighted to see that the Daily Mirror is running a campaign to raise the profile of the work of carers.)

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3 Comments

  1. Hello John.

    I’m a Carers and have been for the past 15 years, my caring role is becoming more intense each year, it’s caused my health to deteriorate. OK that’s me.

    Now could you please provide me with proof of these 6 million Carers please- bearing in mind that there are around 4 million people claiming DLA, not all of those people claiming at the rates that allow someone to claim Carers Allowance for them. I’ve yet to see ANY proof that there are 6 million Carers.

    I’m no prepared to take the word of a charity that won’t allow Carers that have a problem with how they operate to join, I’m not prepared to take the word of a charity CEO that has stated SHE decides what to take to the government NOT what Carers want taken to them.

    The BIGGEST stumbling block to Carers getting what they deserve is the misinformation that is being pushed to artificially boost our (Carers) numbers.

    The Mirror’s campaign is patronising, Carers are NOT charity cases so why do the media go to them for Carers views? If you search online for Carers groups you can find them, some unsafe places- which most Carers know and will inform you about (and they are bound to follow me here as usual)

    Carers UK are NOT “the voice of Carers”, CARERS are the “voice of Carers” and as a full-time Carer I find it annoying-insulting-patronising to be classed as a charity case, Carers are hard working individuals, Carers UK’s staff and CEO can clock off at 5pm, we don’t have that luxury.

    Reply
    • Clive,

      Thanks for your comment, as I understand it the 6 million figure comes from the Office of National Statistics. I am a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and am very keen to ensure that figures I use are unarguable, here is the link – http://www.statistics.gov.uk/CCI/nugget.asp?ID=1336&Pos=1&ColRank=1&Rank=208

      Although I agree that carers are not ‘charity cases’ I don’t agree with you that carers should not have charities to campaign for their rights, as lots of other groups do. My article is designed to encourage the political parties, paricularly Liberal Democrats, to see the sense in making sure that carers get a benefit that is comensurate with the work they do, and to understand what they often have to give up to care.

      Reply
  2. entity

     /  October 13, 2009

    “HUMAN RIGHTS”

    People Power!

    WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR US?

    Carer’s Allowance should be fit for purpose.

    1. An immediate Government review of carers’ benefits and the Carer’s Allowance to be increased
    2. More respite breaks and health checks for carers
    3. Carer’s Leave to be made into law so carers can ask employers for discretionary time off work

    People Power!

    One of the most powerful video’s I have ever seen fighting for the preservation of disability living allowance and attendance allowance.

    http://www.thepatientsvoice.org/Petition_For_The_Preservation_of_Disability_Living.asp

    Email your MP

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/

    Reply

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