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Government's 5 pence a day increase is an insult to carers - £1000 a year motion to Newcastle City Council tonight

February 3, 2021 7:23 AM

Ed Davey and Wendy TaylorCarers UK has delivered a letter from near 5,000 carers calling on the Chancellor to acknowledge unpaid carers' contribution throughout the crisis.
Councillor Wendy Taylor will speak tonight to a motion from Newcastle Liberal Democrats, praising the work of carers and advocating that they should be given more than £1000 a year extra in recognition of their efforts (full of the motion text below. The photograph of Wendy and Ed Davey was taken pre-lockdown))

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The Government has announced that on 12th April 2021 the Carer's Allowance benefit, currently £67.25 a week, will increase by 35p to £67.60 a week, in line with inflation.

The Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey MP said:
"People looking after loved ones during Covid are doing a remarkable job, in very difficult circumstances. They deserve much more support.

"Millions of unpaid carers have faced serious financial hardship during the pandemic, and the Government's plan for an extra 5p a day is frankly an insult.

"That's why Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to support carers properly, by raising Carer's Allowance by £1,000 a year immediately, in line with the uplift in Universal Credit.

"This awful virus has shown that Britain is a nation of carers, but it seems Ministers haven't noticed.

"Liberal Democrats are determined to stand up for carers so we can build a more caring society as we emerge from this pandemic.

The full text of the motion is :
"Council acknowledges:-

- the sterling work undertaken every day by the City's legion of carers
- carers may be family, kin, friends or neighbours, and may be paid or unpaid
- the important role played by carers in the support they give to the elderly, infirm, those suffering from long term disorders and our most vulnerable citizens

Council also recognises that: -

- many carers have been struggling for years to attend to those with deteriorating conditions, or, who may have been thrust into the role following an episode of sudden serious illness like Covid-19
- many carers in the City are unaware of their entitlement to support which can assist with financial, nursing, legal, respite or welfare information and advice
- carers often have to give up work or reduce working hours in order to juggle care responsibilities, they therefore incur financial hardship
- at just £67.25 a week the Carers Allowance is the lowest benefit of its kind
- the Carers UK survey found that 43% of carers felt that a rise in Carers Allowance would help them given the financial pressures they face
- an effect of Covid-19 has been to exacerbate the pressures and stress experienced by carers
- Statutory and Voluntary Organisations which support carers across the City have worked hard during the recent pandemic to adapt and revamp services to ensure continuity

Council resolves to -

- offer congratulations to the statutory, charitable and voluntary services in the City for the excellent way they have continued to give thoughtful and caring provision during the pandemic and lockdowns
- write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions urging them to raise the Carers Allowance by £20 per week, and ask the three MPs for the City to support this proposal."