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New Prime Minister must act quickly for unpaid carers

05 September 2022

Liz Truss has today (5th September 2022) been declared the new leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister.

Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

“We welcome the new Prime Minister to her role and hope that unpaid carers will be at the front of her mind in the coming weeks as she tackles the cost-of-living crisis and considers those most adversely affected.

“Caring for relatives who are older, disabled or seriously ill, we know that nearly half of unpaid carers are already unable to manage their monthly expenses. Many are cutting back on essentials, using savings or taking out credit cards to keep the person they care for warm and healthy. The main benefit for people caring for 35 hours or more per week, Carer’s Allowance, is just £69.70 a week and rapidly falling behind inflation. Unpaid carers must be prioritised for targeted financial support so they are not pushed further into poverty.

“Our new Prime Minister must also have the social care system marked as urgent in her in-tray. Rising costs and limited availability of care services mean millions of older and disabled people are not having their needs met - and family members are having to take on even more care. This comes at a significant detriment to their own health and ability to work and during a cost-of-living crisis, is leaving families overwhelmed and at real risk this winter. Social care needs and deserves a longer term sustainable funding solution.

“We hope we can count on the new Prime Minister’s support for the Carer’s Leave Bill, which could see UK employees with caring responsibilities given a landmark new right to up to one week of unpaid Carer's Leave each year, making it easier for them to juggle work and care.

“Unpaid carers provide the majority of care in this country - they are the pillar of our NHS and social care system and are facing one of the toughest situations ever. Without them, these systems would collapse. Yet too often carers feel invisible to the Government. As our new Prime Minister, Liz Truss must recognise the vital role of unpaid carers and ensure her Government delivers for them.”

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