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Our fight to support carers

February 18, 2021 12:00 PM
By Liberal Democrats
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

During this pandemic, carers have stepped up in very difficult circumstances to look after elderly, disabled and vulnerable people.

Carer's Allowance is just £67 a week. It's just not nearly enough.

Unpaid carers in particular are doing a remarkable and important job looking after our loved ones.

But many carers are facing extreme financial hardship.

900,000 full-time unpaid carers rely on Carer's Allowance - but at just £67.25 a week, it's just not nearly enough.

It is the lowest benefit of its kind - another example of how carers are too often an afterthought for many politicians.

Many unpaid carers have been struggling for months, often relying on foodbanks to feed themselves and the people they care for.

That's why back in November, we called on the Government to raise Carer's Allowance by £1,000 a year, the same as the uplift in Universal Credit.

Three weeks ago I asked the Prime Minister to support unpaid carers by increasing the Carer's Allowance by £20 a week.

He didn't do so. When he's found millions to hand out to Conservative Party cronies in contracts, why can't he do a little more to help unpaid carers? #PMQs pic.twitter.com/hdsI4iAu1K

- Ed Davey MP 🔶🇪🇺 (@EdwardJDavey) November 25, 2020

Most carers are simply exhausted during coronavirus. Most haven't had a single break since the pandemic began.

But we must go further - the pressures of coronavirus has placed enormous strain on carers.

A recent survey by Carers UK found that 81% of carers are spending more time on their caring responsibilities during the pandemic, mainly because the needs of the person they are caring for have increased or because the local care services they rely on have been reduced or closed.

Most carers are simply exhausted. Most haven't had a single break since the pandemic started.

The Government must provide funding to councils so they can offer every unpaid carer the support they need to take a weekly break

The brutal combination of lockdowns, shielding requirements and reduced support services have made the pandemic especially tough.

Another survey by Carers UK found that 64% of carers have not been able to take any breaks from their caring role during the pandemic.

74% said they feel exhausted and worn out as a result of caring during Covid, and 44% said they are reaching breaking point.

We must do far more to support our wonderful carers.

So we launched a new campaign, calling on the Government to give carers a break by providing immediate emergency funding to councils so they can offer every unpaid carer the support services they need to take a weekly break.

The Liberal Democrats will stand up for carers and lead the way to a more caring society as we emerge from this pandemic.