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Monday, 15 September 2014

Carers and General Election 2015

 Prefacing note by Swheatie of the KUWG

When leafleting jobcentres, KUWG members have often spoken to unpaid family carers in their 50's who have a caring responsibility for a parent in their 90's. Merciless jobcentre staff frequently tell them that they must do 'volunteering' for a charity a 3 hour return journey away from home or be sanctioned, when the carer who is a Jobseekers Allowance claimant has been endeavouring to get a local placement with, say, WH Smiths so that — in case of emergency — the can be much closer to the parent in need of their care. The care/claimant is told that if they do not do the jobcentre's bidding, they will be sanctioned.

We also get similar reports from parents of small children, while the single parent is attempting to build a career for themselves via attending a pre-university course. The parent is told that if they do not take on a conflicting commitment at the jobcentre's bidding [and that holds no real career prospects for them] they will be sanctioned.

The jobcentre workers might say they are only following the legislation. Consider what questions might be asked of ministers from that. And, what merciless 'tough love' legislation dictated by investment banker turned welfare reform minister Lord Freud, wealthy, Common Agricultural Policy-subsidised land owner Iain Duncan Smith and their corporate lobbyist friends is really teaching children about life?

From Carer Watch — a self-help online network of unpaid family carers

Are you an unpaid family carer? 
Are you worried about cuts to benefits and social care?  Have you been affected by lack of respite? ...... and so the list goes on.
We are compiling a list of questions to be sent to Ministers from ALL main political parties. Any responses will be posted on this blog.
Please add your question in the comments below or send email to Rosemary at admin AT carerwatch.com

Please share with your networks


What others are saying  -

from Richard Hawkes  Chair of Care and Support Alliance
In the last few months we've heard again from local authorities about the chronic underfunding in the social care system.  Figures from ADASS show that there has been a 26% reduction in social care budgets over the last four years.
As a result, we are seeing a rapidly rising number of older and disabled people who struggle to get the support they need to simply get up, get dressed and get out of the house.
This is placing unbearable pressure on family carers, who are simply unable to fill the gap left by care cuts. The number of people providing full-time care to loved ones is now over 1.4 million, many of who are being pushed to breaking point.
The new Care Act is bold and ambitious.  But delivering on it is dependent on putting the social care system on a sustainable financial footing.We need all political parties to be bold and commit to investing in social care, so that older people, disabled people and the families who care for them get the support they need to live well.
 from Moira Fraser, Director of Policy and Research, Carers Trust
The General Election in 2015 is a crucial opportunity for carers’ voices to be heard. So many issues have impacted on carers in the last four year – changes to the NHS, in welfare benefits and cuts to the services available locally.
Carers votes count. Carers should be able to access adequate support to ensure they and the people they care for are well supported, healthy, and have a  life of their own.
All political parties should make it a priority to recognise the needs of carers. Making sure the rights won under the Care Act in England are properly implemented, including providing the funding to do this, would be a good place to start.
from Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK
Just as more and more families take on caring responsibilities, carers are facing a combination of cuts to social care and benefits. As we approach a general election, all political parties must pledge to stop cutting carers support and urgently put in place measures to prevent carers’ financial hardship and ensure social care services can meet growing demand.
Without this we will see growing numbers of families pushed to breaking point, forced to give up their jobs to care and at risk of debt, isolation and exhaustion.

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