Responding to the Comprehensive Spending Review today, Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:
“We welcome the Chancellor’s announcement of an additional £4.8 billion over three years for local councils. For too long unpaid carers have been holding the underfunded social care system together. The pandemic has placed even greater strain on carers with 81% taking on more care for relatives and 72% unable to take any breaks at all from their caring role. Without the right support many of them are worried about how they will continue to care. It is vital that the additional funding makes a real difference to carers, investing in the services they still have reduced access to and ensuring that they are able to get the essential breaks they need from their caring role.
“Even with this funding, we recognise that this is a sector that will continue to be under severe strain over the coming years.
“The Chancellor’s post-COVID-19 economy must recognise the contribution of carers, and that includes the financial penalty they face. So many carers are also facing financial hardship whilst providing many hours of care. Without changes to the Earnings Limit carers are stuck unable to increase their hours of paid work without risking losing all of their Carer’s Allowance. The Government should recognise the challenges facing carers this winter with rising fuel bills and increase the level of carers’ benefits and Carer’s Allowance currently just £67.60 a week.”