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More than a million carers are living in poverty, research warns

1.2 million carers in the UK are living in poverty, researchers have warned. Campaigners say many of the carers are providing specialist care for long hours and no pay, with little or no support financially or socially.

The research, undertaken by the New Policy Institute with funding from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, found that among people providing 20 hours of care or more each week, 37 per cent are living in poverty. By comparison, the rate stands at 20 per cent for non-carers.

It is believed the issue is particularly impacting on women as they are more likely to be carers due to traditional gender roles and longer lifespans, meaning 12 per cent of women are informal carers, compared to 8 per cent of men.

Caring is often a dual blow, with household incomes hit by reduced earnings, and bills rising as a result of the extra costs of ill-health or disability. As caring becomes a daily reality for more and more of us, the government must act to address the financial and opportunity costs for carers.”

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