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We’re committed to supporting carers

March 20, 2021 1:00 PM
By Ed Davey - Leader of the Liberal Democrats
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

The UK's 11 million unpaid carers - young and old - do a remarkable and important job, but they need more support.

From juggling work and looking after loved ones to taking on more caring responsibilities during the pandemic, carers face difficult challenges everyday.

unpaid carers have been ignored and overlooked"

That's why members at our Conference have passed a motion demanding a better deal for these unsung heroes of the pandemic.

Unpaid carers are in an especially difficult situation, overworked and exhausted, with no break in sight. 900,000 full-time unpaid carers - most of them women - are reliant on Carer's Allowance of just £67.25 a week. More than a third are struggling to make ends meet.

Not only do the 11.5 million unpaid carers provide vital support for people in need, they also save the UK Government £193 billion a year, providing care the state doesn't pay for. Despite their indispensable role, unpaid carers have been ignored and overlooked by the Government.

Our motion calls for long-needed changes like:

  1. A £20 a week rise in Carer's Allowance (and the Carer Premium, the Carer Addition and the Carer Element of Universal Credit), in line with the Universal Credit uplift
  2. A statutory guarantee of regular respite breaks for unpaid carers and emergency funding so carers can take breaks now
  3. A "day one" right to flexible working, and paid Carer's Leave

Read the full motion here: libdems.org.uk/f13standing-up-for-unpaid-carers

Throughout the pandemic the Liberal Democrats have been standing up for carers. By championing carers, we will pave the way for a more caring society as we emerge from this pandemic.