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'Protect carers from risk of benefit freezes’ urges charity

20 September 2012

Carers UK has written to the Chancellor George Osborne and Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith urging them to protect carers and disability benefits from any measures to freeze benefit levels. The letter follows media reports that the Government is considering benefit freezes as part of further reductions in public expenditure. 

In the letter, Carers UK expresses deep concern at the impact benefit freezes could have on families caring unpaid for ill, frail or disabled loved ones. The charity is already worried that current cuts to disability benefits will harm carers and their families.  

In the letter, Carers UK Chief Executive Helena Herklots reminds the Chancellor that -

  • extra costs of ill-health and disability already mean that families face higher household bills, particularly food and heating. 
  • the rise in VAT has already hit hard as carers often end up spending more on a range of VAT rated products like cleaning materials, detergents, continence pads, bed-clothes and bandages.  
  • Carer’s Allowance is the lowest benefit of its kind, and has lost value according to earnings since its creation in the 1970s. 

Heléna Herklots goes on to say that “freezes to carers’ and disability benefits would risk a further, very serious impact, on the ability of carers to make ends meet; and would also be deeply unfair, given carers huge contribution to our society, families and economy.”

Read the full letter below

 

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