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Carers UK responds to the Queen's Speech 2015

28 May 2015

Emily Holzhausen, Director of Policy at Carers UK, responds to the Queen's Speech 2015:

"The Bills presented in the Queen's Speech will affect carers in many different ways. Confirmation of the £8 billion annual increase in the NHS budget by 2020 is to be warmly welcomed but carers will be disappointed not to hear anything about how the gap in social care funding will be met to aid integration of health and social care and provide the basic support that so many families need.

We've welcomed the changes to devolved powers which would mean more decision-making being transferred to the Scottish Government, but we also want these powers to be wide enough to deliver the positive change which has been promised to carers in Scotland. We look forward to working with the Government to enable the best Bill possible for carers in Scotland.

We welcome the fact that pensioner, disability and carers' benefits will not be included in the freeze on benefits but are concerned some carers will still lose out as a result of the proposals. We await more detail on other aspects of the welfare changes announced in the Queen's Speech in relation to the Full Employment and Welfare Benefits Bill and will be urging adequate protections to reflect the full breadth of carers lives, from young adult carers, to those nearing retirement.

The welfare system is a vital safety net for families when they face additional costs because of disability, or if they cannot work full-time because of caring for a relative, etc. Carer's Allowance, for example, is a vital benefit for carers who often have to give up work in order to care. Many carers are anxious about further reforms to the social security system and are seeking reassurance from the Government that this vital support will continue."

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