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Spending Review fails to do enough for carers

25 November 2015

Carers UK has warned that today’s Comprehensive Spending Review has failed to do enough for carers.

The charity warns that a lack of adequate, sufficient or affordable care services to back-up people who care for a disabled, older or seriously-ill loved one will push them to breaking point.

Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

“A new power for Councils to raise extra funding for care services from Council Tax, together with the promise of a future boost to the Better Care Fund, is long awaited recognition that our care system is now in a deep crisis. However, although welcome, this extra money falls far short of the funding needed to provide the vital care that older and disabled people need.
“Without access to social care, families have to step in, meaning they are providing more and more care at greater cost to their own health, wellbeing and financial security. Carers are already saving the UK economy £132 billion every year with the unpaid care they provide.
“Increased NHS funding is welcome, and is needed to bring a more integrated health and care system, but by missing its opportunity to invest in care, the Government is sabotaging its own plans for a more efficient and productive NHS.
“Carers facing tax credit cuts will be relieved at this reprieve from the Chancellor but further changes to Housing Benefit today are likely to add to the financial pressures that many carers are facing. If the Government’s manifesto commitment to improve support for full-time carers is to be met, the impact of these changes on carers needs to be carefully considered.”

Ahead of the Spending Review, Carers UK called on the Chancellor to address the chronic underfunding of the social care system and to improve carers’ finances. The call came following the launch the charity’s joint research with the University of Sheffield which revealed that the UK’s unpaid carers save the state £132 billion a year – close to the cost of a second NHS*.

Carers UK will today publish a policy briefing on what the Spending Review means for the UK’s 6.5 million carers. It will be available here from 6pm: www.carersuk.org/for-professionals/policy/policy-library

-ENDS-

* Valuing Carers 2015 – the rising value of carers’ support [2015] University of Sheffield, University of Leeds and CIRCLE, published by Carers UK

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