Charities are demanding a better deal for the nation’s carers with the launch of a Carer Poverty Charter.
Carers UK and other major charities including The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads Caring for Carers, have drawn up a Carer Poverty Charter, demanding better benefits for carers, including an increase on Carer’s Allowance which currently stands at just £53.10 per week.
The charter calls for an end to carer poverty and for the government to set out a timetable of action to improve carers’ benefits and income. It states that the benefits system must protect people from falling into poverty or financial hardship as a result of their caring role.
In addition, the benefits system needs to be easy to understand and straightforward for carers to claim. A recent National Audit Office report revealed that one-third of carers found the application process difficult.
Carers UK Chief Executive, Imelda Redmond, explained: “Many families are running down their assets, not saving for their own futures, not saving for their pensions and going into their old age in poverty. It’s an outrage.”
The Department for Work and Pensions said in a statement that carers will be considered as part of wider benefits reform: “We want to create a system of carers’ benefits that is able to provide effective support where it is most needed and that can adapt to the extensive range of needs that carers have.”
In the National Strategy for Carers launched last year, the government has promised that by 2018 ‘carers will be supported so that they are not forced into financial hardship by their caring role’.
The charities so far supporting the charter are The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, Alzheimer’s Society, Carers UK, Counsel and Care, Crossroads Caring for Carers, Every Disabled Child Matters, Mencap, Rethink, Vitalise.
It is hoped that over the next few months more national and local charities , as well as individuals will sign up to support the call to end carer poverty.
If you would like to join the call for an end to carer poverty you can join in the support for the Carers Charter.
You can find more details about the wording of the Carter and sign the petition online, you can click here for all the details.
If you cannot get online but would still like to support the Charter then please call us on 020 7708 4497 and we will send you a copy
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