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Mixed reaction to Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

05 December 2012

Carers UK Chief Executive, Heléna Herklots, gave a mixed reaction to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

George Osborne’s decision to increase carers and disability benefits in line with inflation is welcome but more local government cuts will undermine the already creaking social care system.

Whilst most benefits for working age people will increase by only 1%, an increase below the level of inflation, carers’ and disabled people’s benefits will rise in line with inflation. Carers UK wrote to the Chancellor in September to urge him not to freeze benefits for carers and disabled people.

Responding to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement Heléna Herklots said:

“Freezing carers and disability benefits would have piled extra pressure on carers and risked a further, very serious impact, on the ability of carers to make ends meet. It is a relief that the Chancellor has listened to these concerns and agreed that these benefits will rise with inflation.

Despite this families are still struggling with the greater costs of food and fuel. The Family Spending Report published this week by the Office of National Statistics shows that the average household costs for a family have gone up by £10 a week more than this time last year.

Carers are already seeing services in their local areas being cut back and charges for care increasing. The Chancellor’s announcement of a further 2% cut to local government spending from 2014 is disappointing and will result in even more pressure on the care system.

Although, benefits for carers and disabled people will go up a little in line with inflation, we hear from carers that the rising cost of living, care services stretched to the bone and reductions in welfare spending add up to a big on strain family finances."

Find more information about the Autumn Statement here

 

 

 

 

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