Spring Budget fails to support millions of unpaid carers living in poverty, says Carer Poverty Coalition

Responding on behalf of the coalition, Tamara Sandoul, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK, said:

“It is unacceptable that unpaid carers continue to face acute financial hardship, particularly given the high level of support they provide for ill, elderly, and disabled friends, is so vital in helping to ease the pressure on our overstretched health and social care system. 
 
“Today’s Spring Budget is incredibly disappointing and unpaid carers on low incomes will be devastated to see that they have, once again, been forgotten. The Government may be facing tough choices on spending, but unpaid carers – particularly those receiving Carer’s Allowance – are making even tougher choices. 
 
“Although the six-month extension to the Household Support Fund is welcome, it hasn’t been extended for long enough and does not begin to address the financial challenges that carers face or the underlying causes of poverty for unpaid carers. Some are choosing between whether to eat or heat their home through no fault of their own.  
 
“The Government must recognise the link between caring and poverty by putting robust measures in place for proper support. A review of Carer’s Allowance, the lowest benefit of its kind at only £76.75 per week, is long overdue and must be a key priority for the next Government.  
 
“The Government has also missed key opportunities to support carers’ ability to work by not increasing the earnings limit for those in receipt of Carer’s Allowance to 21 hours per week, pegged to the National Living Wage, and by not granting those on Universal Credit a Work Allowance.”   
Source: Carers UK
Greenwich Carers Centre are part of the Carer Poverty Coalition