Have you heard about the Carer Poverty Coalition?

The Carer Poverty Coalition, formed in February 2023, is made up of 100 national and local organisations.

Collectively, we will be campaigning to:

  • End poverty amongst carers by advocating for policy change that adequately values, recognises and supports unpaid carers
  • Reform the benefits system to better support carers financially in the short and long term
  • Bring in better systems to support carers to continue with paid work
  • Build awareness of carer poverty and the impact of the cost of living crisis on unpaid carers with Government, parliamentarians, decision makers and the general public

Every day across the UK, the work of unpaid carers helps hold society together – an invisible network of support, empathy and care for those who need it most.

However, providing care to family and friends limits their ability to earn a full income adds extra costs that they would not otherwise have. Too often, due to a lack of recognition and support, unpaid carers end up falling into poverty or find themselves in precarious financial positions as a result of their caring role. This is particularly true of carers who care for more than 35 hours a week and those who provide unpaid care over longer periods of time. Financial difficulties also have a significant impact on carers’ physical and mental health and often increase their own need for treatment, support and services in order to cope.

There is a clear moral as well as economic argument for supporting unpaid carers to live on a decent level of income and for supporting those able to continue with paid work whilst caring. Better support for carers to stay in work has clear benefits to the wider economy by improving productivity and reducing unemployment. The value of unpaid care was estimated at £530 million per day and £193 billion per year during the pandemic.[1]

This is a huge contribution to the NHS, social care and to society as a whole. Unpaid carers also provide a vital human connection as well as physical and emotional nourishment needed for our older people to thrive and enable people with disabilities and long-term illnesses to lead dignified, independent lives.

To find out more about the coalition or to join, please get in touch with John Perryman:

john.perryman@carersuk.org

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All we need is recognition of the WORK we do caring for our loved ones, sometimes 168 hours a week. Classing us as “economically inactive” is, to me an insult. If we don’t do what we do free of charge, someone else can get paid to do exactly the same thing and be classed as “economically active”. We SAVE the government a fortune. I’m sure those designing this policy would be very upset if they worked for 35 hours but were then told it was “the wrong kind of work”! They’d be even more upset if the first 35 hours pay was taken away after they were told to get another job that was “the right kind of work”!

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I agree wholeheartedly BB. I have always tried to respect Carers, before I was thrown headlong into the role. Obviously, I had no REAL idea of what is involved or how much effort is required and how much NERVOUS ENERGY is needed.

I wish there was some way of getting through to the ‘Great and the Good’ in Government or many organisations that lip-service and platitudes mean NOTHING. My complaint to South Glos Council has not yet been dealt with and al lI get told is ‘we are experiencing high levels of sickness and holidays’. I have replied "LUCKY THEM GETTING A HOLIDAY - I DONT!‘’’

If Carersuk wants to get serious with the CPC then let’s see things in the media, on TV, shout it from the rooftops and dont just lobby quietly in the background.

“They” (whoever they are) say they appreciate what we do and how much it would cost to replace us unpaid carers. Well dont just say it - DO SOMETHING. I’ve heard from Government and other organisations for YEARS that they recognise and appreciate the vast savings made due to us Unpaid Carers working bloody hard every day, but nothing ever gets done about helping us. I get £62 a week Carer’s Allowance and I am supposed to be thankful for that and rejoice that I am treated so well. Would ANY MP like to try surviving on that pittance?

I cannot work due to my caring role. I cannot claim UC as I have some minor savings which I am living on for the next five years til I am eligible for my pension. In five years I will have nothing else left, so will be totally dependent on my State Pension. Great - I have worked since the age of 17 and paid full National Insurance and Tax all that time. Now I need some support I get nowt. Why did I bother? Why DO I bother? I bother because I love my husband and cannot see him struggle.

I hope this “Coalition” actually does something and doesnt just talk talk talk. I note the aims are all related to Campaigning but lets have some definitive action on how that will be effective please.