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Campaign for Carers brought to Hinckley and Bosworth Council

February 23, 2021 2:05 PM

The Hinckley and Bosworth Liberal Democrat Council group have tabled a motion which calls for better support for carers across Hinckley and Bosworth, including increasing the Carers allowance by £20.

Liberal Democrats tabled the motion for the forthcoming Borough council meeting on Tuesday 23rd February calling for more financial support for the over 1,000 full time carers throughout Hinckley and Bosworth.

It comes as carers in Hinckley and Bosworth and throughout the country face added pressure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The motion, tabled by Hinckley Councillor Michael Mullaney, says that 'most carers are having to spend more time looking after loved ones during the pandemic; most haven't been able to take a single break since it started; and the majority are simply exhausted.'

Carer's Allowance is the lowest benefit of its kind, at £67.25 a week and a recent survey by Carers UK found that more than a third of those on Carer's Allowance are struggling to make ends meet.

Many have to resort to using foodbanks to feed themselves and those they care for.

Cllr Michael Mullaney, Hinckley Liberal Democrat Councillor, said: "As part of our national campaign, Liberal Democrats are calling on the government to raise the Carer's Allowance by £20 per week, in line with the increase in Universal Credit.

"Many carers here in Hinckley and Bosworth and across the country have done phenomenal work throughout the Covid-19 pandemic yet sadly do not receive the rewards they deserve for their essential work. Raising the carers allowance would be one way in which their vital work can be appreciated and their often perilous financial situation supported."

Seconding the motion Lib Dem Councillor Mark Sheppard Bools said "Carers are the hidden heroes that take so much of the burden off our overstretched NHS. Without their selfless dedication many more people would need to be cared for in a hospital or care home setting.

"By raising the allowance for carers, it ensures that those looking after people can do so without the worry of falling into financial hardship and gives dignity to those being looked after, by enabling them to stay in their homes and be cared for by those who know them best."

The Carers UK survey found that '43% of carers felt that a rise in Carer's Allowance would help them, given the financial pressures they are facing.

The wording of the motion being brought to the meeting is

Council motion: Stand Up For Carers

Proposed by Councillor Michael Mullaney

Seconded by Councillor Mark Sheppard-Bools

Council notes that:

Carers - paid and unpaid, young and old - do a remarkable and important job. They are an integral part of our community in Hinckley and Bosworth. They deserve our support, but are far too often forgotten and ignored.

Carers in Hinckley and Bosworth and across the country face big challenges every single day; challenges that have been made even harder by the Covid-19 pandemic. Most carers are having to spend more time looking after loved ones during the pandemic; most haven't been able to take a single break since it started; and most are simply exhausted.

Situations provoking care interventions can happen with little warning. Often those giving care have to reduce their working hours or give up work to juggle

competing demands.

The pressures on young carers can negatively impact on their experiences and outcomes in education, having a lasting effect on their

life chances.

Many carers are unaware of their entitlement to financial support, a carers assessment or break, and the support services available.

Council further notes that:

1,167 full-time unpaid carers in Hinckley and Bosworth rely on Carer's

Allowance.

At ust £67.25 a week, Carer's Allowance is the lowest benefit of its kind. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government increased the

Universal Credit standard allowance and the Working Tax Credit basic element by £20 a week above the planned uprating in April 2020, but it has

not increased Carer's Allowance.

Many unpaid carers are facing extreme financial hardship. A recent survey by Carers UK found that more than a third of those on Carer's Allowance are

struggling to make ends meet. Many have been struggling for months, often relying on foodbanks to feed themselves and the people they care for.

The Carers UK survey found that "43% of carers felt that a rise in Carer's Allowance would help them, given the financial pressures they are facing."

Council resolves that: We must stand up for carers, do more to support them, and build a more

caring society as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.

We will review how carers in Hinckley and Bosworth are made aware of existing support that is available and to bring back any recommendations to Hinckley and Bosworth

Promote Young Carers Action Day on March 16th 2021 as widely as possible on an annual basis, particularly to young carers and their families.

Council calls on the Chief Executive to:

Write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, urging them to raise Carer's Allowance by £20 a week

immediately, in line with the increase in Universal Credit, and copy in our local Stand up for CarersMPs, asking for their support.