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New campaign : Carers being short changed - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

New campaign : Carers being short changed

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
Signed
I have to come back on the money issue - please note I did not say that carers themselves would not benefit from getting more money! I did talk about 'properly targetted and controlled spending', by which I meant, there must not be too high a proportion swallowed up in administration, 'management', consultants and other 'jobs for the boys and girls'. In other areas of government services, some bod in an office somewhere thinks up schemes which look good in PR terms, but do little or nothing for those supposed to benefit.

Cynical, moi? Image
Agreed, cotula

And signed up!
Thanks to everyone who has supported the campaign by telling Gordon Brown what needs to change. 600 carers have signed up in the three days since the launch

You can sign up here

http://www.carersuk.org/Newsandcampaign ... ordonBrown
Gavin, hadn't had time to write a message to Gordon before today, so just done it now!

Thats a alot have signed in 3 days - well done Carers!
Only two weeks into the campaign and already there is lots to report! Over 1000 carers have already signed up online to support the campaign and send their message to Gordon Brown. Here's what one carer had to say :

"Mr. Brown, you are inheriting a ticking time bomb. You have balanced the books in the past long enough to know that this situation is at breaking point. Social care and benefits for the disabled needs a complete overhaul. If not addressed soon this issue could be what brings this country to its knees and you along with it. Can you afford to lose a potential 6 million voters?"

Getting the word out
The launch of the research report that backs up the campaign, garnered a lot of media coverage including a piece in the Times and items on Sky News and Channel 5 News. There was lots of web coverage too including GMTV, AOL and Channel 4.

We did several local radio interviews too. It's been our experience at Carers UK that local radio and newspapers are much more effective at reaching carers than the big national media. With that in mind we sent a piece to every local newspaper in Britain urging carers to sign up to the campaign and already we're getting a lot of reports back of good local coverage.

Our offices in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland targeted their local media and all scored hits including items on the BBC website. This week of course carers are getting lots of media coverage because of Carers Week and the campaign message that carers need a better financial deal is being repeated again throughout Carers Week.

Westminster
The campaign is based on a piece of research "Real Change not Short Change" where we asked almost 3000 carers to tell us what impact caring has had on their pockets (you can find out more about it here). We made sure MP's knew about the research and what carers had told us.

Since we launched the campaign we have noticed a significant increase in the amount of discussion of poverty, income and benefits in Parliament and politicians' speeches. Politicians from across the political spectrum seem to be accepting our evidence that some carers are living in poverty and the benefits system needs major reform.

Anne McGuire Minister for Carers' Benefits met carers at a Carers UK event in London on June 4th and when asked about the research and the 'Short Change' campaign she agreed that Carers Allowance needed reform. Then on Monday 11th June there was a House of Commons debate where Minister for Care services Ivan Lewis agreed that there was a need to review the tax, benefit and pension system.

He also said: "In no circumstances should a carer have to live in poverty as a consequence of having made the choice to care". In the same debate Sandra Gidley for the Lib Dems also said she thought a review was needed and Jeremy Hunt Shadow Minister for Disabled People for the Conservatives focused on the need to reform the bureaucracy and complexity of the system.

You can read the debate online at Hansard here(be warned though it's many pages long!)

Big guns
This week during Carers Week the 'big guns' have been out with both Gordon Brown and David Cameron issuing statements on carers. Gordon Brown was launching the biggest consultation ever undertaken with carers and said "Carers are a remarkable group in society. We, as government, need to do more to listen to and learn from carers about how we can better provide the support they need and the recognition they deserve." Leader of the Conservatives David Cameron issued a press release yesterday for Carers Week calling for "a revolution in attitudes towards carers." His press release quoted our Short Change report, citing "54% of carers give up work to care and 33% are in debt".

Continuing the fight.
Already we are seeing that your evidence, the evidence of the 3000 carers who completed the survey, is making an impact in the corridors of power. Now we need to keep up the campaign and see that impact translated into real action.

We've still got a way to go before carers achieve the financial recognition they deserve with an overhaul of carer benefits. It's vital that you show your support for the campaign by telling Gordon Brown what needs to change. Show now that you want real change, not short change sign up here.

Matt Hill
Communications and Campaigns Manager
Carers UK
Bringing this one back to the top again for new members who may have missed it.

Rosemary
x x
Thanks Rosemary for bringing this back up the list. I can give you all an update on what's been happpening with the campaign.

At the moment we're concentrating our efforts on reaching carers who aren't on the internet and can't sign the online version. This week we've sent out thousands of postcards and leaflets about the campaign and are enlisting the help of local carer groups to get the postcards out to carers. You can view the postcard and leaflet as PDF files and read update #2 on the campaign blogpage

Here's what you can do to help us

1. Sign the online postcard to support the campaign and send a message to Gordon Brown.
2. If you have a way of distributing some postcards to carers who are not online then please order some. They are free but the minimum order is 20.
3. Spread the word. Send an email to friends, colleagues etc. Here's a suggestion you can cut and paste into an email

Thanks everyone

Matt Hill
Carers UK

Email title : Short changed?

A recent survey found by Carers UK found that 3 out of 4 carers are worse off as a result of caring and more than half of carers are forced to give up work to care. Carer’s Allowance is worth just £48 per week, the lowest benefit of it's kind. Yet carers save the economy an estimated £57 billion a year. Not much of a return is it?

Carers are being short changed by an outdated benefits system that doesn’t recognise their contribution. Carers UK is calling for a radical overhaul of the benefits and tax system for carers and has launched a campaign called 'real change not short change'.

We need to show the government that the public is behind this campaign so please take a minute to show your support by completing the online postcard.
Order sent in!
Hi Everyone,

I've just signed up & sent my message to Gordon Brown well done Matt!!
Take care Deb x