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Reaction to the Comprehensive Spending Review

20 October 2010
Carers UK responds to the Comprehensive Spending Review

Carers UK Chief Executive Imelda Redmond CBE said: "It is really important that Government has recognised the importance of social care in today's Comprehensive Spending Review, and prioritised investment in care and support in a context of rapidly growing demand.

We are pleased that the voices of carers, older and disabled people have been listened to in the run up to this Review. However local authorities are receiving an overall reduction in revenue from central Government of 26%. There is a real risk that care and support services will still see deep cuts, unless local authorities prioritise care. Unless they do so, the dignity and independence of older and disabled people will be undermined and more families will be forced out of work and pushed to breaking point to care for them.

Many of the UK's 6 million carers are already struggling to care with insufficient support, and the £2 billion new investment in social care announced today will be of some relief in the short-term. However, with our ageing population, the need for far-reaching reform of the delivery and funding of social care must continue to be a top Government priority.

By contrast, the cuts to welfare will be devastating for families and will hit disabled and older people and their families particularly hard. We have long called for reform of our complex and confusing benefits system, but this must not come at the cost of pushing the most vulnerable into poverty. Families who care for ill or disabled loved ones are the bedrock of our society and our health and care services could not cope without them. They save the UK a staggering £87 billion every year often at the cost of their own health, finances and wellbeing. Cuts to the benefits they receive is no way to repay this contribution."

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