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Carers UK is really pleased to see the United Nations recognise the invaluable role of care workers and unpaid carers across the world who are looking after ill, disabled or older people. Carers UK is a proud founding member of both the International Alliance of Carer Organisations and Eurocarers. 

Only last week, Carers UK published a new report into carers’ finances, showing the devastating effect of caring on people’s incomes and savings, highlighting the lack of targeted Government support to prevent poverty and poor financial outcomes for unpaid carers.

Commenting on the first ever UN International Day of Care and Support, Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said,

“It’s fantastic to see the United Nations raise unpaid caring and care work to such a high priority and see bodies like the ILO recognise the economic role that social care plays in our economy. It’s critically important for families who can be pushed into poverty and whose health and wellbeing are damaged and relationships compromised because they provide unpaid care.

“We think there’s a strong economic case for improving people’s access to high quality social care and supporting unpaid carers that needs to be better understood by HM Treasury and the Government. Our research shows that we are losing around 600 people a day from the labour market because they are providing unpaid care and aren’t receiving the support they need to juggle work and their unpaid caring responsibilities.

“As well as costing those individuals dearly in terms of their personal finances, this has a severe impact on businesses and the economy, through lost productivity and increased recruitment costs. In a tight skills and labour market, we should be seeing investment in social care as an investment in the stability of our economy, over both the short and longer term.

“We want our Chancellor to listen to the key messages from the UN and the ILO and to provide a plan in his upcoming Autumn Statement to invest more in social care and provide more financial support for unpaid carers, to prevent more people falling into poverty.

“With a general election likely in another year’s time, this issue must be a crucial agenda for all political parties.”

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