Today’s Spring Budget was unveiled by The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt. Hon. Jeremy Hunt MP. Carers UK is disappointed that unpaid carers have yet again been omitted from receiving targeted financial support.
Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK said:
“Today’s Spring Budget simply does not recognise or support the essential care that unpaid carers provide on a daily basis. They have yet again been overlooked for targeted support, despite the savings they provide to the NHS, the economy and our society.
On the cost of living and energy
“Nearly two-thirds (63%) of carers told us they were extremely worried about managing their monthly costs. While we welcome the Government’s announcement to extend energy support until the end of June and the fuel duty freeze for a further 12 months, this does not go far enough to support hard-pressed carers during the cost-of-living crisis. With the additional costs that come with caring for a loved one, we believe they should receive targeted financial support.
On work and finances
“In a Budget focused on supporting the economically inactive return to work, we are surprised that there was no targeted support for the 1.1 million carers who are currently economically inactive. The ‘Returnerships’ programme focused on delivering apprenticeships for the over 50s could be useful to carers looking to return to work.
“We had also called for a dedicated Work Allowance for unpaid carers and are concerned that this has not been included. Giving unpaid carers a dedicated Work Allowance where they are receiving support from Universal Credit would have been a big step to helping many over 50s remain and return to paid work whilst providing essential care for others. We know that three-quarters (75%) of carers worry about continuing to juggle work and care. While we welcome the Government’s support for the Carer’s Leave Bill, these measures alone will not keep carers in work.
“Whilst there are welcome boosts to childcare in the Budget which will benefit many families, it’s very disappointing to see that there were no additional investments made to social care when this is essential for many families to be able to juggle work and care. The economic value of social care supporting working families has been ignored.”
On social care
“We are deeply disappointed that there was no mention of any funding for social care which is so desperately needed. There are 165,000 vacant posts in adult social care - the highest rate on record – and the Governments’ failure to set out a workforce plan for social care during this Budget is a massive missed opportunity. The system urgently requires reform and is at the risk of collapse if the Government does not tackle this issue head-on.”