Help us track the impact of benefits changes

All about money
Hi all,

On top of the huge anxiety that many families are already feeling about the future of their benefits, we know that increasing numbers are starting to receive letters saying they are going to be hit by bedroom tax and the benefit cap. Changes to Council Tax Benefit are also coming, alongside the introduction of Personal Independence Payment and Universal Credit on the horizon - just to name a few.

Carers UK has repeatedly warned Government about the impact on carers of the changes and cuts to the benefits system. Part of continuing this fight, as the changes are implemented, is gathering solid evidence about that impact.

We will soon be launching a big survey called the State of Caring. We would be very grateful if you could fill this in so we can build a comprehensive picture of carers' lives in 2013. But we also need more detailed personal accounts from carers of:

- The financial pressures that they already face as a result of caring
- The impact of the different benefits changes on them.

We need your help to do this. This could be by keeping a short diary of the costs of caring, or being part of a panel of carers who we will do several short surveys with over the next few months, to check what changes in benefits you face.

If you might be able to help - even if you can't commit much time to it - you can fill in your details here http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/carerpanel

Many thanks,

Steve
Carers UK
Survey completed.

Here in Scotland we seem to be kept in the dark about how the new benefits system is going to work. Biggest worry is finding the rent payable in advance, if the benefit is going to be paid to us in arrears.
I've done mine.
Survey completed!
Done!
Thank you!
Done.
Done. But in our complex household, we both work and actually pay a lot more tax than we receive in benefits. However, we have benefited from historically low mortgage rates, whilst losing out on laughably low interest rates on savings and investments, including an endowment policy that isn't worth the paper it is written on. The biggest hits for us were the raise in VAT to 20% and the rising price of food and fuel: also our wages have not risen in line with inflation: working carers are affected very differently from those who are 100% benefit funded, and you need to gear in all caring situations to provide a balanced report. As a family we are probably slightly better off than we were a few years ago, mainly because of the change from Child benefit to ESA when our son reached 16 and moved into a supported college placement: he is now treated as an adult and contributes towards the household expenses. Thats an extra £100 per week: not to be sneezed at. It's a bit of a lottery out there, and there is no justice, logic or fairness in it. But overall, the poor are getting poorer, the rich are richer, and the middle lot are coping as we have always done.
Survey done with pleasure Image
Because of the tax and NI changes, we will be around 500 pounds better off per annum as a family after this budget. Personally I would far rather the give-aways had gone to the real poor, not the middle.