West Norfolk Women and Carers’ Pensions Network calls for a Fair Deal for Carers from the Coalition Government

 

Carers put their own relationships and careers on hold – sometimes for ever.

  1. Caring impacts on carers’ ability to earn, save, build up their own pension, maintain friendship networks and socialise. 
  2. Carers suffer worse physical and emotional health than non-carers.
  3. Though equality becomes a shimmering veneer when you have to care for someone, the carer’s role is fundamental to another human being’s wellbeing, quality of life, and very survival.

The Coalition’s planned cuts to public services will affect single women of working age and single women pensioners most of all. ( Women’s Budget Group and Howard Reed  http://www.womensincomenetwork.org/Women%20and%20Income.htm

 

  1. Most carers are women. When the services they rely on as carers are cut or withdrawn they will be faced with Hobson’s choice – provide the care themselves although it means reducing their own paid work, or make up the shortfall for the lost service out of their own pocket. Either way, women will lose out.
  2. If Government fails to protect carers from the nuclear fallout of the more stringent Personal Capability Assessment when a disability benefit is withdrawn but the need for caring remains, women will lose out again.

The right direction for Welfare Reform is to safeguard the public services that carers, disabled and elderly people depend on, strengthen Carers Allowance with more flexibility and qualifying criteria on the basis of care needed and supplied, whether or not the cared for is in receipt of DLA or AA, and to raise the amount of Carers Allowance to give dignity and sufficient income to carers in consideration of their vital contribution to society.

 

Alexandra Kemp
Chief Executive
West Norfolk Women and Carers’ Pensions Network