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Carer Poverty Commission to be established in Northern Ireland

25 August 2022

Carers NI will launch a new Carer Poverty Commission to tackle destitution among people providing unpaid care for sick or disabled family members in Northern Ireland.

The Commission, which will be funded through a £75,000 grant from the Carers Support Fund, [1] will deliver new research evidence on the drivers of poverty among unpaid carers and the interventions that will make the biggest difference to tackling carer poverty, with a view to informing future policy from the Stormont Executive.

Richard Meade, Director of Carers Northern Ireland, said:

“Poverty rates among unpaid carers are higher in Northern Ireland than anywhere else in the U.K. As local carers continue to be hammered by the cost of living crisis, our new Commission will play a leading role in generating much-needed policy ideas to tackle carer poverty and ensure carers receive the financial support they need.

“Our unpaid carer population saves Northern Ireland’s health service billions of pounds each year, but in return, too many carers face a devastating mix of high caring-related costs, barriers to paid employment and inadequate welfare support. With energy prices spiralling, inflation projected to keep growing and an incredibly tough winter ahead, the work of the new Commission could not be more pressing.

“Our thanks to the Community Foundation and the Department of Health for funding this vital work and recognising the importance of tackling poverty and destitution among unpaid carers in Northern Ireland.”

The Carer Poverty Commission will be established in the coming months. Its activity will include engagement with a projected 750 unpaid carers, focus groups and a wide range of other research.

ENDS

 

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Carers Support Fund is delivered by the Community Foundation NI and supported by the Department of Health.
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