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CARERS BACK TO WORK - Page 4 - Carers UK Forum


Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
109 posts
That means you have 3 levels of care allowance - high, medium or low. This means that the person caring for the disabled person with the highest care needs gets the highest care rate to reflect the work that they do.
Hi eun - this is similar to the idea that was proposed by the National Carers Stratgey working group - which Carers UK was part of. It was then picked up by the MPs select committee which called on govt to do the same. They called for reform of carers allowance to recognise the different levels of care being provided. I think it was a two tier system they called for which would at least provide some extra recompense for those carers who are unable to work. As we know government rejected the recommedation of it's own working group and the all-party select committee in favour of a "review" which we are still waiting for. Image
Matt how can you say that Carers UK do not favour one group over the other when from your own posting you have just admitted that you have had funding to look at the issue of working carers which also just happens to play into the governments barrow of getting carers back to work? You have not mentioned similar research into the plight of non-working carers so obviously working ones are your priority.
I think you're making some big assumptions. I will state again we DO NOT favour one group over the other. We have plenty of research into carers who don't have paid jobs. The reason we got the grant back in 2002 was that there was virtually no research at all anywhere in Europe about working carers. We felt there was a real need for it - our members were asking us to do more to support them with work and care. There is so much good come out of that 5 year project including firm rights in the workplace and we're very proud of all that came out of that project.

I would say again just look at our work - look at the exmaples Charles has given. As a charity work for all carers.
CUK has an effective campaigns department, some of whose output has been discussed on this thread.
Thanks Charles - I know "department" is only a word, but unlike most charities you will know we don't have an actual dedicated campaigns department - we're not that big! (we don;t have a press/media department either) But we campaign as a team that includes a small group of staff - myself and Gavin as communications and my 2 policy and parliamentary colleagues. Plus we have colleagues in Scotland, Wales and NI who campaign in their own parliaments and assemblys. I apologise for being pedantic but "department" makes it sound rather grander than it is!
Hi Helen

I see your point but on the basis that it is pretty much impossible in most circumstances to care for two people simultaneously I think that there is an argument to be made that carers of two people should receive either the appropriate level of carers tax credit based on the carees' rate of DLA/AA for each caree or an additional sum, as in the dependent additions paid with some benefits, to reflect the additional hours, responsibilities and costs involved in caring for more than one person.
Hi Parsifal

I quite agree with you (in fact in my case it once wasn't possible to care for either son as the little darlings decided to leg it in opposite directions in the middle of a busy road when they were younger, but that's another story Image Image ).
The idea of premiums to cover variables in circumstances, added on to a basic payment, as is done with tax credits seems a fairer way to bump-up carers payments; and if the system was set up properly, with carers responsibilities properly understood by the powers-that-be and those financial costs of those responsibilities accurately reflected in the basic amounts and premiums paid a lot of carers could be financially better off at least.
If then, respite care (and other forms of assistance that deal with the carers emotional and physical well-being) could be provided to recipients of the tax credits that would be an even bigger bonus.
What a wonderful dream Image
Matt - what is so wrong with demanding a fair rate of benefits for carers? Every time the gov pops £53.90 into our accounts they DEMAND that in return we give up our lives and go with out sleep etc.

I don't agree with doing away with CA and having a universal benefit as this would really enslave carers even more. It would be a huge step in stripping us of our identity and ignores the fact that we WORK when we are caring.

So people earning up to 50k can get tax credits? And carers get less than 3k - mmm something wrong there!!!!! Image Image Image Image Image

Considering the mess that the gov has made of various tax credits and the number of people who have ended up in debt through no fault of their own I really wouldn't want to go down that route - although in theory it is a good idea.

I could support the idea of different rates of CA tied to the rate of DLA the caree receives as this would be any easy way of rapidly rolling out higher rates - no form filling! Image

But I want the rates to reflect what we do and object to any plan that puts us on a par with a retirement pension - we are not retired - we work damn hard for the pittance we get and should be paid a benefit rate accordingly.

I believe that a rate ABOVE minimum wage would be a start - forget the current economic climate - why should we fund the bankers who caused it? !!!!!!!!!! Image Image Image
Boggle, pensioners have worked damned hard for their pensions, many of this generation of pensioners not only started work at the age of 14 but also fought for their country, can you claim the same? You can demand as much as you like, it will not get you what you want, children demand, adults negotiate.
Well actually I know of a fair few pensioners who haven't worked hard - what amazes me is how they made it to pension age!!!!!!!!!!! Image Image Image Image Image Image

And actually yes I can claim to have worked hard - often working two jobs - working 80 hours a week when I was expecting my eldest child and not finishing work until the day before she was due - and then the little madam was 10 days late so I could have worked at least another week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It isn't a case of children demand and adults negotiate-nasty little comment that was - dis rights groups demanded and the DDA was the result. Adults have the intelligence to realise that enough is enough and we have to stand up for ourselves.

Negotiation obviously got us nowhere as the government rejected their own review - time to demand - time to demand that they stop using us (both in the work we do and as their electioneering tool!!!!!!) and time to demand a fair rate of benefit for the work that we do. Whilst some people carry on negotiating the rest of us are being sold down the river.
It was not intended to be nasty Boggle, children demand but adults negotiate and reach compromise or consensus.

The DDA was not achieved by demanding but by negotiation, the issue was highlighted by direct action, direct action alone did not give people with disabilities the DDA, it was negotiation with the emphasis on the proven economic benefits in the US of making goods and services accessible to people with disabilities which was instrumental in giving us the DDA. I think that we have been here before and there is little point in going through it again.

One person cannot demand that CUK demands an increase in carers benefits, CUK is a democratic organisation and the majority view takes precedence over any individual view, if you want to demand that CUK demands an increase in carers benefits, if you are not already a member, I suggest that you join CUK and put a motion to that effect to the AGM.

On pensioners I asked you if you could claim that you had started work at 14 and fought for your counhtry, not simply if you had worked hard, many of us care for these pensioners, we know the lives which they have led, we treat them with respect, we do not believe that they are less worthy than us.
Once again a reminder: please treat others with respect.

Differing views and opinions are fine, and frankly anything else would be pretty boring. And that's sort of the point here. Politicians have a very different view about what affects carers and seem to have selective hearing.

But frankly so do we carers. We each of us have our own view and persuading others of its merits over someone else's is difficult, challenging and not necessarily what we need to be doing.

Surely the important thing is that as carers we have an opportunity (duty??) to work together. After all, we criticise the politicians for staunchly sticking to their views without compromise, and only working together along party lines. And yet we are no different, it seems.

Maybe we have the opportunity to lead the politicians by example?

Now there's a challenge. Image
Dear Charles

I do see what you mean to a point but it just seems that if one offers an alternative viewpoint on the forum or tells what the experience of life with a severely disabled child is like for us (which I must be honest is not always a positive experience although we love our children very very much) one is labelled as negative.

I believe that Boggle and I (please excuse me Boggle if I am putting words into your mouth and obviously feel free to disagree with me) were just trying to point out that life in the caring garden for some of us is not at all rosy.

I would venture to suggest that our viewpoint and experiences of this caring life are just as valid as anyone elses and we should be allowed to say how we feel. If we are denied the right to express our opinion and feelings like everyone else does then it is not just the government who is disenfranchising us but the forum as well

I do not think it right that you are only to express an opinion if it agrees with the majority - that is NOT democracy. Also how can something that has not been voted for be described as a democracy anyway?

I do not want to fight with everyone - I have enough horrendous stress in my life as it is without fighting and continually arguing with people I don't even know - I of all people should know that life is just too damn short for all the hassle.

with very best regards to everyone.

Eun, I have in no way labelled anyone and for sure I understand that not everything in the garden is ticketyboo. I have worked with many carers who are going through hell, and I could certainly discuss some of the negative aspects of my life more often if I chose to do so. Again, I don't believe that anyone has said you cannot express an opinion that is in the minority. In fact my last post made it clear that differing views and opinions are fine! But there is a difference between an honestly held opinion and a matter of record or of fact, and it's important to distinguish between the two. If there has been any disagreement with what you and Boggle have stated, it's precisely around that issue, and that tends to raise objections.

While I understand your feelings, I don't feel it is appropriate to judge others' caring situations on these boards. None of us knows how heavy their caring responsibilities are and it is presumptuous to think that one or other of us has a greater burden than anyone else. The effect of caring for more than one person with severe levels of need cannot be underestimated, for example. Especially when their needs clash. Either way, our individual caring experiences are all different and cannot be easily compared. How do you compare caring for someone with a terminal illness with caring for someone who, if not properly supervised, would commit suicide? Neither is worse than the other - yet they are very different, and very real situations. I cannot know from experience what it is like to lose a child to a terminal illness, but I have seen carers going through that hell, and others who are following that awful path. But I have also seen carers in dreadful circumstances who found a reason to smile.

My son has autism. I am well aware of the challenges that presents. I carry the injuries. As a result of some of my son's challenges I have a permanent back injury and a neck injury that is currently giving me a good deal of pain – and pain-free days are a distant memory. While I acknowledge those issues – and others I won't go into here – I usually choose to share other things. Like the date he threw his arms around me and said “I love you.â€
109 posts