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Carers UK has written to the Times in response to an article suggesting benefits for carers and disabled people may be subject to means testing.

Carers UK and 22 charities that form the Care and Support Alliance have had a letter published today in the Guardian newspaper calling for social care to be made a priority by the new government.

Carers UK have called on the new Government to make reform of social care and urgent priority.

Carers UK welcomes the recognition of carers in the election campaign but calls for words to be backed up with urgent action.

Carers UK today welcomed the fact that Leaders Debate broadcast on ITV chose care as one of only 8 topics following a concerted effort to get the issue raised by the Care and Support Alliance, which is convened by Carers UK.

Research shows over half of carers worry their State Pension has been affected as a result of caring for a loved-one

Carers UK: 'Time to be bold' with social care plans

 

International conference to discuss worldwide care challenge

Carers UK responds as Alastair Darling announces that the Government 'will shortly set out' care and support proposals.

Twenty three leading care charities have called on the government to publish the much anticipated White Paper on Care and Support.

Carers UK comment on Age UK report that tomorrow's budget could contain huge cuts to Social Care spending.

Charities representing ill, disabled and older people and their families do not want to see a delay in implementing free personal care in people's homes.

Carers UK has welcomed the new report on social care from the influential Health Select Committee.

Carers UK Trustee Rosemary Whitehurst met Prime Minister Gordon Brown when the Cabinet visited Exeter in February 2010. Read her view of the meeting and what she asked the Prime Minister about carers in an article she wrote for the Exeter Express & Echo.

 

Carers UK welcomes Law Commission proposals to overhaul law on care

Carers UK welcomes Lib Dem carers breaks announcement but urges bigger debate

For the first time, it will be possible for an unpaid carer looking after a loved one to build up a full basic State Pension based entirely on National Insurance credits.

Comment from Imelda Redmond CBE, Chief Executive of Carers UK on today's social care conference and Conservative concerns for the role of unpaid carers.

Charity urges all political parties to take action before 'tipping point for care' is reached

Carers UK says social care debate must not be 'drowned out' by party political electioneering

 

10th February 2010

Carers UK Chief Executive Imelda Redmond CBE said:

"The reform of social care is one of the greatest challenges our society faces in the 21st century. Our care system is crumbling as it struggles to cope with an ageing population and people living longer with disability.

Difficult decisions need to be made on how to fund the vital changes needed to deliver a fair, transparent and sustainable care system for the future. That requires a mature and sensible debate on how we face the care challenge as a society.

This crucial debate must not be drowned out by media soundbites and electioneering. It is particularly disappointing to see these difficult issues reduced to slogans and posters, and for care of older people to be associated with negative images of gravestones.

The carers and families we represent are struggling now and desperately need decent services and support. They will not accept social care becoming a party political football.

Carers UK look forward to the publication of the White Paper on Care and Support and we urge all political parties to enter into a considered and grown-up debate on this most profound of challenges."

The charities Age Concern/Help the Aged, Carers UK, Parkinson's Disease Society and Counsel and Care have come together to call for politicians to throw their support behind the Personal Care at Home Bill which is due to have its Second Reading in the House of Lords on Monday 1 February 2010.

 

With the Second Reading of the Bill, which will make personal care free to people most in need in their homes, Carers UK is seeking clarification from Government about carers.

Carers UK has welcomed new support for carers from the Department of Work and Pensions, aimed at supporting carers to combine paid work with caring.

One in six carers give up or cut back work to care and face a significant drop in income which can continue for several years. New research by Ipsos MORI for Carers Rights Day shows the average carer in Britain today cares for around six-and-a-half years clocking up an average of 27 hours a week.

 

With their focus on making sure their partner, parent or disabled child has the care they need, over half haven't thought about or started to save towards their long-term financial future. This includes around a third who haven't even thought this far ahead.

A separate study of round-the-clock carers by Carers UK reveals that over a third (35%) had missed out on benefits like Carer's Allowance because they didn't realise they could claim. Half (49%) said that not getting these benefits affected their health and two in five that they were struggling financially. One in five said they were in debt because of missing out.

Today Carers UK and the Department for Work and Pensions are calling on all carers to check they get all the financial help and practical support on offer.

Imelda Redmond, Chief Executive of Carers UK said: "Caring can take a massive toll on carers' finances. Whilst facing hugely reduced incomes from giving up work or reducing their hours, carers face all the additional costs of care. With potentially a decade of caring ahead of them, Carers UK urges carers to seek advice and claim the benefits they are entitled to."

Minister of State for Pensions and Ageing Society Angela Eagle said: "From April next year, Government reforms will enable people who look after someone for more than 20 hours a week to build up entitlement to a basic state pension, thereby helping those who may not even think of themselves as a carer safeguard their financial future."

To coincide with Carers Rights Day, Carers UK is publishing two new advice guides, Caring about your pension and Looking after someone: A carer's guide to rights and entitlements.

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