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New Chancellor urged to act for unpaid carers amid cost-of-living crisis

21 September 2022
  • 72 organisations call for targeted top up for unpaid carers receiving Carer’s Allowance
  • 84% of public agree that the Government should provide unpaid carers with additional support

The national charity Carers UK has delivered a letter to the new Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng MP, urging him to tackle the cost-of-living crisis’ tightening grip on unpaid carers.

The letter is signed by 72 organisations, including Age UK, Mencap and MS Society, and sets out the extreme financial challenges faced by family members providing round the clock care for relatives who are older, disabled or seriously ill.

Unpaid carers are particularly vulnerable to many types of rising cost because their ability to earn an income is limited. There are some costs carers cannot cut back on, such as heating and medical equipment, without affecting the safety of the person they care for.

Emily Holzhausen OBE, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK, said:

“Thousands of unpaid carers who do so much to support people in our communities are now facing an unprecedented emergency and urgently need the Chancellor’s help.

“While we welcome the Government’s announcement of an annual £2,500 energy price cap, this will still be a significant price hike for many. Some carers have no way of meeting the rising costs and face extremely difficult decisions that are keeping them up at night.

“We are urging the Chancellor to provide unpaid carers with targeted support, giving those with an entitlement to Carer’s Allowance or the Carer Element of Universal Credit a top up payment to help them meet the significant additional costs they’ll face throughout the winter.”

The cohort of organisations is also calling for Carer’s Allowance and Carer Element to be uprated in line with current levels of inflation, as soon as possible, to ensure that carers on low incomes can keep up with their bills.

Providing greater support for unpaid carers is supported by an overwhelming percentage of the public. 69% agree that the role of unpaid carers is not well valued and 84% agree that the Government should provide additional support to unpaid carers.

Other organisations that signed the letter include Rethink Mental Illness, The Patient Association and Carers Trust.

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