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Election 2017: What next?

09 June 2017

Carers UK Chief Executive Heléna Herklots considers the implications of the General Election result and looks ahead to Carers Week as an opportunity to shine the spotlight on carers.

All of us, at some point in our lives, will care for someone or need that care ourselves. This universal experience deserves serious attention, commitment and action from all political parties. So it was good to see that all the main parties had commitments in their manifestos to carers, demonstrating a welcome and growing recognition of how many people are caring for someone and how much society – and the economy – relies on that care. Yet as we know there can be a big difference between commitments in manifestos and actions that make a positive difference in our lives.

With the political uncertainties we now face, it’s imperative that we seize the moment to ensure that recognition and support for carers is part of the new Government’s agenda. We set out five priorities before the Election, in our Carers’ Manifesto:

  • Financial security
  • Care services that are there when we need them
  • An NHS that supports us
  • To be able to combine work and care if we choose to
  • To have the information and advice to prepare and make choices about caring

After the restrictions on charities during the election period, we’re now able to step up our campaigning work again to take these forward to create a society that respects, values and supports carers.

We know that the Conservative manifesto proposals to place a charge on people’s homes if they receive care at home despite a higher means test caused a great deal of anxiety amongst carers. We will be robustly representing carers’ views and concerns to Government, and calling for action to bring forward early proposals to tackle the underfunding of social care in a way that is fair, sustainable and affordable for families and pools risk.

We will also be pressing for the work done over the last two years on a new carers strategy to improve support for carers, to be published and delivered.

Carers Week is a week where, together with our partner charities and thousands of supporters across the country, we highlight and celebrate all that unpaid carers do, and make the case for better recognition and support. It is a great opportunity to focus on carers, and this year to let returning and new MPs know just how important it is for Government to enact positive policies and commit resources to supporting carers.

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