Skip to the content
Choose your content
UK NI Scotland Wales

Join us Login Forum Media enquiries
Choose your content
UK NI Scotland Wales

Sir Keir Starmer has today (5th July 2024) been declared the new Prime Minister following yesterday's General Election results. 

Helen Walker Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

“We would like to congratulate Sir Keir Starmer MP, the Prime Minister, in leading this new Government.  We are encouraged by strong statements about public service in his first address to the nation from the steps of Downing Street, about rebuilding trust and dignity, particularly at work, and respect for people.  We're delighted that he took the opportunity to mention carers.  

“The UK's millions of unpaid carers need hope for the future and they need to see real and lasting change.  The pledges made so far to support families who provide unpaid care, to build a National Care Service, to look at the merits of paid Carer's Leave and to tackle the scandal of overpayments of Carer's Allowance must be part of the urgent action for change that the new Prime Minister talks about.  We also need to see a cross-Government National Carers Strategy that makes change in key areas of unpaid carers' lives. 

“There is no time to lose.  Unpaid carers are having to provide more care as a result of long NHS waiting lists, cuts and shortages in social care and an outdated and antiquated benefits system that leaves carers in debt to the Department for Work and Pensions.   A staggering 600 carers a day give up work to care. 

“Over a quarter (27%) of unpaid carers say that their mental health is bad or very bad, and nearly three quarters (73%) of these are continuing to provide care even though they feel at breaking point. 

“The care unpaid carers provide is worth £162 billion per year to the economy, the equivalent of a second NHS, but many feel unsupported and forgotten. With 78% of carers worried about being able to provide care in the future, this needs urgent attention, otherwise the Treasury will be bearing greater costs in the longer term. 

“The last National Carers Strategy was in 2008.  Sixteen years on we need to see this kind of positive cross-Government action again, led by the Prime Minister. There is huge support for this. The All-Party Parliamentary Group of Carers' consultation returned 5,000 responses around a National Carers Strategy - equivalent to a Government consultation response. 

"We hope the new Government will seize this important opportunity to do more for unpaid carers, making their lives better and those they care for, bringing about lasting change for them and their families."

Back to top