MP for Denton and Reddish, Andrew Gwynne, has today thrown his support behind Labour’s pledge to increase the Carer’s Allowance, which would bring it in line with Job Seekers Allowance.
Currently the social care system is in a crisis caused by a Tory Government who have cut £4.6 billion from social care between 2010 and 2015. Meanwhile, the health and care sector is supported by an army of over 6.5 million unpaid carers who look after older, disabled and seriously ill relatives and friends. Without them, millions of people would have to manage without any support at all.
Carer’s Allowance is the main welfare benefit for carers of this kind. It is currently worth £62.70 per week and is payable to unpaid carers on low incomes and working at least 35 hours per week.
Carers UK research showed that one in three carers cannot afford to pay their utility bills and one in five cannot afford their rent or mortgage payments, with over half of carers using savings to pay for everyday living costs.
Labour values the work and social contribution of those providing unpaid care; therefore a Labour government will increase Carer’s Allowance to match Job Seekers Allowance. This will mean an increase of £10.40 per week for those over the age of 25 taking their allowance from £62.70 to £73.10 per week.
This small increase, funding by reversing the Tories tax cut for the rich, will go some of the way to alleviate the financial burden that many unpaid carers experience.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“There are 6.5 million people in the UK who provide unpaid care for older, disabled and serious ill relatives and friends with an estimated 1.6 million of these people currently providing care for more than 50 hours per week – that’s a third higher than in 2013.
“Carer’s Allowance is the main welfare benefit for carers to support them in the work they do every day, Labour values the work and social contribution of those providing unpaid care and as such a Labour government will increase Carer’s Allowance to match Job Seekers Allowance, currently £73.10 per week for over 25s.”