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1 in 6 carers are in debt poster

New coalition to end carer poverty launches

Heat or eat?

New research from Citizens Advice found that 3.2 million people across Great Britain ran out of credit on their prepayment meter last year because they couldn’t afford to top up.

That’s one person every 10 seconds – cut off from their energy supply as the cost-of-living crisis left people struggling to keep the lights on.

Imagine if the reason you couldn’t afford to top up your meter was because you had to leave paid work to take on a caring role of a friend or relative. Or, because carers allowance just didn’t stretch that far and it was as decision between food or heating. Carers UK research revealed that one in four carers were cutting back on food or heating to make ends meet during the cost of living crisis.

Decreasing the financial hardship of carers

A dedicated coalition of 93 organisations has come together in an effort to lessen the financial hardship experienced by millions of unpaid carers across the UK.

The Carer Poverty Coalition, which includes a mixture of charities and local organisations, aims to build awareness of carer poverty and the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on unpaid carers, and improve the limited financial support available to them. Crucially, the coalition will also look at what carers need to support them to continue with paid work, alongside their caring role, for as long as possible.

The coalition is campaigning to see a benefits system that better supports people providing high amounts of unpaid care, along with changes to help carers stay in paid work for longer while caring.

Carers deserve better

On behalf of the Carer Poverty Coalition, Helen Walker of Carers UK said:

“Every day across the UK the work of unpaid carers helps hold society together – however, providing care to family and friends limits their ability to earn a full income and adds extra costs and strain that they would not otherwise have.

“Too often, due to a lack of recognition and support, unpaid carers end up falling into poverty or find themselves in precarious financial positions as a direct result of their caring role.

“As a coalition, we believe carers deserve better. There is a clear moral as well as economic argument for supporting unpaid carers to live on a decent income and for supporting those able to continue with paid work whilst caring to stay in work. We hope Government and policy makers will see this too.”

The coalition will campaign for better financial support for carers and changes to enable them to combine paid work with unpaid care.

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