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Carers UK responds to the 2017 Budget

08 March 2017

Responding to the 2017 Budget, Emily Holzhausen OBE, Policy Director at Carers UK said:

“It is a welcome sign that the Chancellor has recognised the current critical pressure that social care is under, by allocating another £1 billion to social care in the next financial year and a further £1 billion over the following 2 years. Social care services are vital to families who have been under increasing pressure to care for their disabled and older relatives. This has significant costs and consequences for carers, their families and the economy. Carers UK’s research shows around 2 million people have given up work to care for relatives. For one in three carers providing substantial care, their decision to give up work was due to a lack of affordable quality social care.

Without this new funding, we feared that many more carers would have found themselves giving up work to care, many would have seen their health worsen, their relationships break down as they have less time for others, and families would end up in lasting poverty.

This welcome funding announcement is by no means the end to the continuing problem of inadequate social care funding. We are pleased that the Government will be bringing out a Green Paper on the future of social care looking at medium and longer term funding for social care services. The Government must develop, secure and implement a robust and sustainable funding solution for care which provides a fairer deal for families. With an ageing population, this must be done in a timely way, or social care will continue to remain in crisis.”

However, there was nothing in the Budget to ease financial pressures on carers and no reversal of planned cuts to Employment and Support Allowance, which mean those in the work-related activity group stand to lose £30 a week.

We were also hoping to see several other measures in the 2017 Budget that would support carers to improve their health and well-being, increase their opportunities to learn and to recognise their skills, and enhance their ability to juggle work and continue caring. The forthcoming cross-Government Carers Strategy due to be published in Spring is an opportunity the Government must take to improve the lives of carers.”

 

Carers UK's on the day Budget briefing is here

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