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Last week six carers and Imelda Redmond, Chief Executive of Carers UK, met Sir Leigh Lewis, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions, Terry Moran, Chief Executive of the Pensions, Disability and Carers Service and Jeremy Groombridge, Director of Policy at Jobcentre Plus, to talk about carers' experiences of using the benefits system.

This afternoon a delegation of MPs met Prime Minister Gordon Brown to urge him to make improvements to carers' benefits. Carers UK also attended the meeting and presented carers' concerns directly to the Prime Minister.

Carers UK are gathering evidence make the case for new legal protections for carers against discrimination. If you have been discriminated against or harrassed as a result of being a carer please fill in our equalities survey and tell us about your experiences.

The Government has today announced that it intends to ban discrimination against carers by protecting people who are 'associated with' someone who is disabled. This will apply in employment and in the provision of goods, facilities and services.

New national information, advice and support telephone service for carers, launched on April 1st 2009.

The two organisations will work together to improve the health of carers, many of whom suffer in silence with health problems of their own.

A group of carers angry at the continued lack of improvements to carers' benefits are organising a day of protests. On April 22nd 2009 protests will take place in Edinburgh and London.

Sixty people including carers, health charities and government attended the launch on February 16th of a new online information service for carers, Carers Direct, held at the Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre on London's South Bank.

Carers UK has responded to a new evaluation of the impact on carers of the Individual Budget pilots 2006-2007.

From 2010, there will be a new,UK-wide, government supported saving scheme called the 'Saving Gateway' which will help people save by making a Government contribution of 50p for every pound saved. Yesterday the Government agreed to include carers in the scheme, with Economic Secretary Ian Pearson announcing that he will amend the legislation when it is next debated.

Carers UK's work for carers' employment rights has been recognised as part of the thirtieth anniversary of Working Families, the UK's leading work-life balance campaign organisation.

New Employers for Carers service goes live, aimed at helping businesses get the most out of their workforces. Government-backed business group Employers for Carers, chaired by BT and supported by Carers UK, goes live today (27th January). The group will deliver hands-on advice to employers on supporting the UK's 3 million working carers, many of whom are struggling to combine work with caring for ill, frail or disabled friends or family members.

Carers UK has responded to a Department for Work and Pensions consultation on reform of the social fund. The social fund offers a mixture of loans and grants to help people on low incomes meet unexpected costs. It is a vital resource for carers who may need a loan to help afford larger items such as a new washing machine or cooker.

Carers Scotland and Carers UK have welcomed the Government's change of heart over its proposal to move carers claiming Income Support onto a modified version of Jobseeker's Allowance.

An MP who spoke at Carers UK's lobby of Parliament has tabled a motion in support of Carers Rights Day (05 December)

New research unveils extreme hardship amongst Scotland's unpaid carers

New research unveils extreme hardship among the nation's carers. The number of carers struggling to make ends meet has risen dramatically since 2007. Two-thirds in fuel poverty; over half in debt; over half cutting back on essentials like food or heating to make ends meet.

GMTV's money saving expert Martin Lewis has given his backing to Carers Rights Day.

Carers UK has signed up with Everyclick - a one stop shop that enables consumers to access effective and engaging ways to give online.

The Employment Tribunal in London has ruled that protection for carers against discrimination "by association with disability" can be given under existing UK law, paving the way for carers to make immediate claims against their employers if they are treated unfairly.

25th November 2008

Carers UK has welcomed yesterday's announcement by the Chancellor Alistair Darling MP that all carers who are entitled to Carer's Allowance will receive an additional payment of £60. This is on top of the usual £10 Christmas Bonus which they will receive. The increase will be paid automatically in the New Year to all those who qualify.


Local councils are being urged to provide better support to carers managing direct payments, rather than saddling them with the burden of unnecessary administration and worry in the Government's drive towards personalisation of care services.

Organisations with the expertise to help carers are being invited to become part of a national programme called Caring with Confidence.

Caring with Confidence is a new programme aimed at making a positive difference to carers and those they care for.

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