The new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, today set out financial measures for the coming months in the Government’s Plan for Growth.
Carers UK is very concerned that the statement did not include any targeted financial support that unpaid carers need, to help them with the cost of living crisis they are facing right now.
Responding, Emily Holzhausen OBE, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK said:
“The measures that we have been calling for to support unpaid carers more with the current cost of living crisis are completely missing, leaving millions of carers facing unprecedented financial hardship this autumn and over winter across the UK. Many carers are telling us they are unable to pay essential bills, they are cutting back on food and heating and remain desperately worried about this winter, which will undoubtedly mean bigger costs for Government and society further down the line.
“Unpaid carers provide vital support for the NHS and social care systems, often at great physical and mental cost to themselves. Many carers feel that it is deeply unjust that their already stretched disposable incomes are shrinking because of the rising cost of living, at time when they are doing more and more for those they care for. Many face significantly higher costs that they cannot cut back on any further.
“We have asked Government to recognise how difficult the winter will be for unpaid carers. Carer’s Allowance and carers’ means-tested benefits need to be immediately raised in line with inflation this Autumn, and people with an entitlement to carer benefits should receive a top up payment to support them over the coming months.
“The Chancellor’s announcement that the funding announced for health and social care by his predecessor last year will be maintained is welcome, and we had previously been encouraged by the Prime Minister’s intention to inject £13 billion into the social care system. Given the pressure that the families and the care system are under, we urgently need to see what Government’s proposals are to ensure carers get the support, services and breaks that they need.”