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Carers UK Response to the Budget 2017

22 November 2017

Reacting to the Chancellor’s Budget today, Emily Holzhausen OBE, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK, responded by saying:

“We are deeply disappointed that there is no additional support for social care in the short term to stave off the crisis on social care which will have a predicted funding gap of £2.5 billion by 2019/20 (1).   Carers UK’s State of Caring 2017 research published earlier this year, found that 40% of people providing substantial unpaid care for loved ones had not had even a single day off in the last year and one in four had not had a week off in the last five years – mainly because of the lack of available and affordable care2.  This pushes carers to breaking point with unnecessary and avoidable costs to the family and to the state – particularly if the person being cared for ends up in hospital or residential care.   The Green Paper on older people’s social care can only offer potential solutions in the medium term and families need more help now.

The £2.8 billion extra funding over the next three years for the NHS is welcome – and we hope that they will increase their efforts to identify and support families who care, and the additional funding for winter pressures – although this falls far short of what is fully needed to avert the ongoing crisis in social care.

We are pleased to see £1.5 billion package of change to Universal Credit which should help to mitigate some of the very distressing circumstances that Universal Credit claimants have been facing.   We had been concerned about the speed of the roll-out and how, without these changes, carers would have been affected on a larger scale.  Whilst we believe that more reform is needed, particularly around work, this will ease some of the conditions faced by many families.  Since carers often face a particularly tough job juggling family responsibilities, caring for others, working – any additional stress causes extreme hardship and health problems.”   

References:

  1. Kings Fund - https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/autumn-budget-2017
  2. Carers UK, State of Caring 2017, https://www.carersuk.org/news-and-campaigns/press-releases/one-in-four-unpaid-carers-have-not-had-a-day-off-in-five-years
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