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Carers UK comments on Government's response to Committee recommendations on supporting carers

31 July 2018

Commenting on the publication of the Government’s response to the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee Report on Support for Carers, Chloe Wright, Head of Policy at Carers UK said:

“The Committee’s report published in May set out a series of achievable and welcome recommendations which would help the Government take forward its own objectives of improving support for carers. It is therefore disappointing to see the lack of ambition in the Government’s response to the Committee’s report.

Carers UK was pleased to support the Committee’s work, providing a wealth of evidence from carers of the financial and employment impacts of caring commitments and of the challenges carers face in finding out about their rights and entitlements. Yet, carers will see very little in the Government response that will improve their financial situation and help them stay in touch with the labour market. Even modest recommendations such as the alignment of the Carer’s Allowance earnings threshold with 16 hours at National Living Wage are dismissed in today’s response.

The Government must think bigger and find ways to connect different parts of a confusing system to help carers navigate support from the benefits system, NHS and the care system. Every contact with carers must count and services like Job Centres could have an important role, and this has also not been defined clearly in the Government’s response.

The Government has also missed an opportunity to set out in more detail taking forward its welcome commitment to explore the introduction of statutory care leave, nor has it clearly indicated that this will be paid care leave. The Government must tell carers and the Committee how and when they will take concrete steps towards changing the rules on flexible working and bringing in statutory paid care leave.

The Social Care Green paper provides an important milestone in tackling the systemic and funding issues that prevent carers getting the support they badly need. As well as sustainable levels of care funding, we will be looking for concrete commitments to improve financial support for carers through changes to the benefits system, introduce new workplace rights for carers as well as proactive steps to help carers get what they’re entitled to more easily.”

 The Committee’s report including the Government’s response

Carers UK’s written evidence to the Committee’s Inquiry

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