The Big Question

Are carers getting a better deal than they were five years ago?

Len Smith – Gypsy activist
The five million carers are vital to maintaining some standard of care. In a socially responsible society I guess it is right to be able to depend on them, yet that should not mean they are taken for granted to the extent they are. They save the nation millions in care costs, yet the carers allowance level is set at about one fifth of the current minimum legal wage.

Angie Lawrence – Single mother
Carers are definitely better catered for financially. But information regarding this can be slow to filter through to the carer. There is some way to go in providing carers with the necessary support in relation to the knowledge they require to ensure they are caring correctly and confidently. They also often lack emotional support.

Jaya Kathrecha – Carer
Things have improved but nowhere near enough – we’ve got a long way to go. Carers allowance is still only £46 a week which is not in line with other benefits. You get the same amount however many people you’re looking after and you lose your pension. I feel cheated. We care out of love and duty and we are being emotionally exploited by the government.

Eve Rank – Inspired Services
For many carers the situation may have got better, but not if you are a carer with a learning disability. We are so little recognised it is a fight all the time for everything. More and more people with learning disabilities are caring yet this has remained a hidden problem. Our new campaign – Who Cares for Us – is trying to get us valued for the job we do.

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