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We are in this together - Templates for media and MPs re:JSA - Carers UK Forum

We are in this together - Templates for media and MPs re:JSA

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
It has taken me several days to catch up with whats been going on round all the carer boards since I came back from holiday.So many different circumstances and yet in a way, many so alike ( sounds double dutch I know Image ).

We have carers whose lives are already stretched to their limits with their caring roles still finding the strength to try bring about change.CUK,PRTC,the elderly/disability groups all have campaigns going on and now we also have a protest being planned.Seeing a connection now being made between the online and offline carers is great as surely our strength will lie in numbers.Those planning the protest need as much support and input as possible so if you have time please take a look at how it is progressing.You will see familiar faces on there so dont be shy.

http://carerspovertyprotest.myfreeforum.org/index.php

We also have those on Carerwatch who keep plugging away too and arrangements are being made for a chat with Phillippa Russell soon and its in the pipeline hopefully, for a meeting with the APCG in the Autumn.

The rot is here and needs stopping NOW as I truly believe the direction this is all taking for those most vulnerable in our country is going to be far worse.

In 6/12/18 months etc,todays issues will seem like a stroll in the park.

God forbid what we will face if/when an election takes place and a new party in power....oh yes lets see...."" You will have to bear with us for another 6/12 months whilst we do our own REVIEWS as we cant just take on board the previous ones held under Labour "".

We currently have the review about Carers Allowance ( which was supposed to have been done in the carers strategy but was kicked in to the long grass AGAIN )...we have the consultations regarding Social care...and now also the damn CA to JSA.Whatever bright spark thought of that idea needs hung,drawn and quartered.Do they really have any idea what a carers life consists of???

These issues are all ongoing but what about the here and now.What can others do to help with all these problems we are facing.

Well the most current issue about CA to JSA has brought about a lot of concerns and to that end Belle has created some templates to be sent to both media and local MPs for those who would like to use them.

Letters like these can be most effective when they are personal, so they can be adapted to include some of your own personal details should you wish...such as - "I care 24/7, leaving my husband/mother etc is simply not an option. Even if I got a job.. < London or whereever> Social Services cannot provide replacement care." - that sort of thing.

Instead of "Carers are angry that the long awaited Carers Strategy....." you could say "I am angry..".... please feel free to tinker with the templates to a way that fits your circumstances.

Draft 1

Letter to local paper:


Dear Editor

As a carer I am writing to express my anger at proposals to transfer working age carers on Carers Allowance and Income Support to Job Seekers Allowance as is proposed in the Green Paper No One Written Off :Reforming Welfare to Reward Responsibility.

Transferring carers who are providing a minimum of 35 hours a week unpaid care (work) to a benefit that suggests they are not working and are available for work is an insult to carers and a contradiction of the government’s claim to ‘recognise’ carers’ ‘immense contribution’ to society (estimated to be worth £87 billion a year).

Furthermore, placing carers on JSA is misleading in that it implies that those with substantial caring responsibilities have the choice to combine unpaid caring work with paid employment when in fact the lack of appropriate affordable respite in the system means that many carers do not have a genuine CHOICE.

Carers are angry that the long awaited Carers Strategy announced this summer failed to deliver any immediate improvement in carers’ income. The proposal now to transfer working age carers to JSA has left many of us worried about government plans for the future re Carers Allowance.

The Green Paper claims to be reforming welfare to reward responsibility. Carers are amongst the most responsible members of society. Carers are used to praise from MPs (unsung heroes/heroines). As a carer I would like to know if our MPs are prepared to back their warm words about carers with action. I would like to know if local MPs and party candidates at the next election will be supporting carers by urging the Govt or MPs in their party to recognise carers valuable 'social input' as members of the working community by keeping carer benefits separate from the rest of the benefit system.

I am writing to this paper because I would like to know your readers views on this and I am sure that other carers in this constituency will be interested in their MPs and other party candidate’s response.


Draft 2 Letter to MPs

Dear (MPs name)

I am writing as a carer and as one of your constituents to express my anger at proposals to transfer working age carers on Carers Allowance and Income Support to Job seekers Allowance as is proposed in the Green Paper: No One Written Off: Reforming Welfare to Reward Responsibility.

Transferring carers who are providing a minimum of 35 hours a week unpaid care (work) to a benefit that suggests they are not working and are available for work is an insult to carers and a contradiction of the government’s claim to ‘recognise’ carers’ ‘immense contribution’ to society (estimated to be worth £87 billion a year).

Furthermore, placing carers on JSA is misleading in that it implies that those with substantial caring responsibilities have the choice to combine unpaid caring work with paid employment when in fact the lack of appropriate affordable respite in the system means that many carers do not have a genuine CHOICE.

Carers are angry that the long awaited Carers Strategy announced this summer failed to deliver any immediate improvement in carers’ income. The proposal now to transfer working age carers to JSA has left many of us worried about government plans for the future of Carers Allowance.

The Green Paper claims to be reforming welfare to reward responsibility. Carers are amongst the most responsible members of society. Carers are used to praise from MPs (unsung heroes/heroines). As a carer I would like to know if MPs are prepared to back their warm words about carers with action.

I am writing to ask for your support in urging the Govt to recognise carers valuable 'social input' as members of the working community by keeping carer benefits separate from the rest of the benefit system.

I would very much like to know your personal views on this issue but I would also be grateful if you would forward a copy of this letter to James Purnell at the DWP.

I look forward to hearing from you.


To contact your MP if you dont already have their details please use this link

http://www.writetothem.com/


These templates can be shared across all the carer forums for anyone who wishes to use them.Belle has gave her permission for them to be copied and pasted to wherever they will be useful.

I am sure I speak for many when I thank Belle for doing these.

Rosemary
x x x





.
DONE AND DONE


GEORGE======
I forgot to say both mine were done too Image Image Image Image Image
YES but mines printed in tonights chronicle quickest response ever .


GEORGE========
all send out Image Image Image
Why bother writing (emailing) ? Feeling powerless?...thinking what's the point?

Well..at the moment these are just formative proposals...there is an (admittedly small) chance that if enough people object to them now they won't make the final Bill. Once the proposal to transfer carers on income support to jsa passes into legislation there's no chance...and i believe it's the thin edge of the wedge for CA altogether.

Cut. paste, email...10 minutes...a lot to gain (for carers) nothing to lose.

We've got until the 22 October to shout up!

best wishes

Belle (where's the pleading emoticon?) Image
Done. Doubt whether he will respond, hope the paper will. Image
What will happen to us carers ( thats me ) who are not on any other benefit just the carers allowance will we get the extra cash along with the carers who are also on income support and may be moved onto J.S.A. which is much higher than carers allowance .
The only reason i cant get any other benefit is because ive got small occupational pension will my own pension be disregarded in the future ????


GEORGE=======

ive got a feeling that we will be left on the carers allowance only and the basic carers allowance will not be raised so we who are classed as 24/7 carers will be left high and dry i still believe that many carer groups have compounded the problem by fighting more and more for working carers , this in my opinion has allowed government to focus on working carers and get some "full time carers" back to work why because thats what many carers have said via support groups we want to work well do we can we.
From the government's point of view it's logical to move working-age carers on to JSA, those caring for parents at some point will probably cease to be carers and will be expected to enter or return to the jobs market; the majority of those caring for working-age sick and disabled partners or children will be free to look for work once ESA is applied to all new and current sick and disabled working-age people, the majority of whom will then either be engaged in work -related activities as a condition of receiving benefit or in work however precarious their employment is. The government believes that every working-age adult, with the exception of the very, very few, should be in work, actively seeking work or preparing for work, it's ideological, it's unchangeable and it's a policy which ignores the reality of people's lives, how you change government thinking is beyond me, this is what they've been working towards since 1999 when they first published their welfare to work plans.
Hi, Guys, I still don't see how I can claim, JSA while already working a few hours a week and caring the rest. Image
I don't think I can honestly say I'm umemployed. Image

Can you currently claim JSA as a top-up when working a few hours? Does anybody know? Image

currently any top-up I know of comes from I.S. maybe this will change too, who knows!! Image
marie x