On Wednesday 15 November, carers support West Sussex joined other members of the Carer Poverty Coalition in signing an open letter to the Chancellor ahead of the Autumn Statement, urging him to provide more targeted financial support for unpaid carers.
Formed in February 2023, the Carer Poverty Coalition aims to build awareness of carer poverty amongst parliamentarians, decision makers, and the general public, as well as advocating for policy change that adequately values, recognises and supports unpaid carers.
Across the UK, at least 5.7 million people across the UK care for a loved one who is older, disabled, or seriously ill. However, despite providing this invaluable support, many are facing serious financial hardship. Research by Carers UK, who lead the coalition, found over a third (34%) of carers said they had cut back on essentials such as food or heating, compared to 25% in 2022, and 13% in 2021. 75% of those receiving Carer’s Allowance are now struggling to make ends meet.
Unpaid carers cannot easily boost their income, as many are unable to juggle paid work with caring responsibilities, while benefits like Carer’s Allowance come with strict and inflexible earning limits.
We have therefore asked the Chancellor to reform the benefits system to better support carers, including raising the level of Carer’s Allowance and increasing its earnings limit. We have also called on him to set out funded measures across social care and employment for enabling and supporting unpaid carers to enter or remain in paid work.
We would welcome your support in writing to your local MP, to ensure they are aware of our campaign and to ask them for their own support in putting pressure on the Government. A template letter is available for you to send, and we encourage you to insert information about your own experience of providing unpaid care if you would like to do so.
To read the open letter to the Chancellor, click here.
To write to your MP, click here.