The Government
United Kingdom

Without Carers, social services and the nhs would be overloaded to the point of collapse, but especially with the economic downturn, Carers themselves are overloaded to the point of collapse.

This petition is to raise awareness of the unfairness inherent in the benefit system that keeps Carers on a very low income and penalises any attempt at self improvement.

It is also to highlight the inequality of care services across the country, which means that, again, carers are unable to improve their own circumstances as the eligibility criteria to receive services depends on local authority budgets.

We the undersigned call upon the Government to increase Carers Allowance for all people who provide a minimum of 35 hours a week unpaid care for a relative, partner or friend of any age with a long term illness, disability or who is older and frail.

That the called increase in Carers Allowance should be paid regardless of carers means or receipt of other “income replacement” benefits (including the State Pension) ; that carers should not have to self-fund their caring role (live off their savings); that means-testing and the overlapping benefit rule be scrapped (carers should not be forced to live on a government imposed limited income) and that students should not be excluded from receiving Carers Allowance.

That Carers Allowance should be paid at a level that allows carers dignity and quality of life and at a level that recognises that carers are unique within the benefit system, in that carers:

(i) have to fulfil the requirement of caring for a minimum of 35 hours a week in order to qualify for a maximum of £50.55 Carers Allowance, the underlying entitlement to Carers Allowance or the Carers Premium,

(ii) provide care and support that would otherwise have to be carried out by state-funded social care staff; that carers contribution to society is worth an estimated £87 billion a year; that the average carer is saving the nation over £15,260 a year and that without carers our NHS and social care systems would collapse.

That the Government recognise the injustice inherent in the fact that social care and respite are dependant on local authorities budgets and not on the service users needs, resulting in a 'post code' lottery.

The Stop Carer Poverty petition to The Government was written by Darren Osborne and is in the category Health at GoPetition.