Responding to today’s announcement that Rt. Hon. Jeremy Hunt MP will be the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Emily Holzhausen OBE, Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Carers UK said:
“With Jeremy Hunt’s knowledge of the health and care system, he knows he must address two key issues for unpaid carers who are facing the double whammy of an unprecedented rise in the cost of living and a care crisis, ahead of this winter.
“As Chancellor, he must guarantee an uplift of all social security benefits, including Carer’s Allowance and carers’ means-tested benefits in line with inflation, and an additional top up payment to get them through this winter. He must also address the care crisis, providing emergency funding for carers’ breaks and funding to support social care to ensure the vital services that families need.
“There is not a moment to lose, and these guarantees cannot come soon enough. The anxiety and pressure that families caring for their disabled, older, and ill relatives is unprecedented. They are at breaking point and the current situation is simply unacceptable. Every day we’re dealing with queries from carers who are cutting back on food and essentials, being pushed further into poverty, having to turn to foodbanks or get further into debt. They are terrified about how they are going to manage this winter. All this, and yet health and social care would collapse without their support. The balance needs to be tipped further in carers’ favour to provide the support they desperately need.
“Less than a month ago, Carers UK led a plea to the former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, with 70 other organisations, calling for immediate financial support to be provided by Government to unpaid carers amid an unprecedented cost of living crisis. It’s time to put these calls into action."
According to Carers UK’s research, a staggering 72% of carers have not had a break since the start the pandemic yet are providing more care than every before. In March 2022, our research Under Pressure found that 45% of carers were unable to afford their monthly expenses and things have got worse since then.