UK carers struggling to make ends meet

UK carers struggling to make ends meet

Around half of the 6.4 million unpaid carers in the UK are suffering ill-health because of money worries according to Carers UK.

A survey of 4250 unpaid carers found that 40 per cent of respondents had fallen into debt because of their caring responsibilities, and 86 per cent of carers in debt suffered mental health problems.

The survey, which was carried out as part of Carers Rights Day, found that many carers leave their jobs in order to care for relatives.

Although they lose vital earnings by doing so, Carers Allowance, at just £55.55 a week, is the lowest payment in the benefits system.

Emily Holzhausen, Carers UK’s director of policy, said: “There are an estimated 6.4 million people in the UK providing unpaid care and they are saving the economy £119 billion every year”.

As well as loss of earnings, carers also struggle to meet the costs of caring, which may include medicines, transport and specialist equipment.

Even though many carers are forced to cut back on food and heating, this often isn’t enough, forcing them to fall into debt.

Although the government has promised £400 million between 2011 and 2015 to help carers, recent figures from the Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads Care show that spending on carers by the NHS has fallen by £2.4 million.

The Department of Health has ordered Primary Care Trusts to publish their support plans for carers by September next year.

On a more positive note, disability campaigners today celebrated the government’s withdrawal of a plan to scrap the mobility component of disability living allowance for 80,000 people in care homes.

The move, which was proposed as part of the government’s spending review, would have saved £160 million.

Although the government believed the funding duplicated money for transport provided direct to the care home, it has now admitted that this isn’t the case.

Following a review, the Department for Work and Pensions said: “There was insufficient evidence of overlaps in funding provision to justify the withdrawal of the mobility component.”

Tags: , carers allowance, , disability living allowance

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Brad carter says:

    I agree with this article.
    I gave up work a year ago to look after my father with severe dementia. His violence and aggression would mean a placement in a secure and expensive -to the tax payer- facility if I were not caring for him.
    £55 per week is not a serious amount of money to survive on.
    We do the job of a carer and a nurse, work 20 hour days (on call for 24 hours)7 days a week, yet get paid less than someone on Job Seekers Allowance.
    The government relies on our respect for our parents as currency. But respect for my father doesn’t pay my mortgage or our food.
    Maybe a minimum wage for carers and pension rights in line with nurses and “length of service” would be a starter. But i’m not holding my breath.
    I started an e-petition if any one would care to sign it, thanks……… h ttp://

Leave a Reply

Visited 5249 times, 4 so far today