CarersBlog

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Further cuts to welfare benefits are an outrage

Last week saw the Carers Trust policy team wending our weary way back from Birmingham at the close of Conservative Party conference, after 3 weeks of trying to get our message across to local and national politicians and party members.

As members of the Care and Support Alliance, Carers Trust has been lobbying hard to make sure that the new Care and Support Bill promotes the rights of carers, and the draft Bill does make significant progress towards this (although there are some issues with how it affects young carers).  There were positive noises from all three parties and their three main leaders on these issues – Andy Burnham for Labour as well as Norman Lamb for the Lib Dems  and Jeremy Hunt the new Secretary of State – that this is an important issue. They all said a great deal about the importance of integrating health and social care – the holy grail we’ve been pursuing for years  – although I’m not sure any of them came up with anything which makes me confident this will be achieved.  All three said we need a cross-party approach to the future funding of social care, whether this is through  what Andrew Dilnot proposed or otherwise.  It’s too important an issue to play politics with, and I hope they will follow through with what they say.

The three conferences had very different feels to them. The Liberal Democrats, in the howling gales and rain of blustery Brighton felt a bit lost and  despondent. Labour felt more positive and confident than they have done in the last couple of years – perhaps reflecting a feeling that they are beginning to find themselves again. The Conservative feel was quite strident and very much felt like they meant to push forward.

Conservative conference for me, and anything positive that was said about how we can get services to work better for carers, was totally overshadowed by George Osborne’s speech, where  he stated the Tories’ intention to cut further swathes  of the order of £10 billion off the benefits budget.  Cameron  backed him up, and tried to make us feel like he’s just  an ordinary bloke – “There is nothing complicated about me” he said, “ I believe in working hard, caring for my family and serving my country.”

Well other people believe that too, but sometimes they can’t  work because they’re caring, or because they’re disabled, or because there aren’t any jobs. For carers,  family and friends come first, often way before their own needs. Often they can’t work because they’re putting someone else first, saving the country billions in care costs. Carers are not, as George Osborne suggested, lying in bed doing nothing expecting others to pay their way for them. It’s an insult to suggest it. 

Carers can’t live on nothing. There’s only so far you can stretch a budget, and with costs increasing the Government are even talking about not increasing benefits in line with inflation. Many people are living right at the margins already.

This is no way to treat people. Further cuts to benefits for carers and disabled people are an outrage.  

Find out more about the hardest Hit campaign against welfare benefit cuts here: http://thehardesthit.wordpress.com/

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October 17, 2012 - Posted by | Benefits | , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. 4.I am 53 years old and have been a CARER for 26 years. I have tried from the outset to do my best for my wife and recently for CARERS generally.
    In the beginning i had to fight for everything and to add insult to injury i was called a LIER CHEAT SPONGER, Today the “ConDem” government are at it again.
    Since January i have been CLINALLY DEPRESSED, i have had one to one counselling to help and i am om medication to help.

    WHAT HAVE WE AS CARERS/WHAT HAVE I DONE TO THIS NATION THAT WE ARE NOW BEING SACRIFICED ON THE ALTAR OF GOVERNMENT POLICY AND DOGMA.

    All the parties say they want to set up a national care service and YET for decades one has already existed in the army of unpaid CARERS the government and the people of this nation are now seeking to destroy.

    As CARERS we will continue no matter what happens to us/ to me BUT there will come a time when people like me will have had enough and then i shudder at what the consequences will be.

    The people and government of this nation have a choice SUPPORT – HELP US – STOP “KICKING US” or one day we/i will be beyond repair.

    Its just gone six oclock in the morning i have been up since 5:00 am and all i want to do is ” GIVE UP”

    i have sent this blog a again as i may have posted it in the wrong section sorry!

    Comment by Taras kurylak | October 24, 2012 | Reply

  2. We as carers are saving the government billions of pounds every year and it’s about time they opened their eyes and saw that!
    Lying in bed all day? What a cheek!!!!!
    Like your previous blogger commented, I too get up at silly o clock and go to bed at silly o clock! Lying in bed is not an option!
    I am continually told by friends and family that I work too hard and put everyone else’s needs above my own, and they’re right! My health has suffered as a result of 10 years continuous caring for my husband, yet do I give up? No! In fact I spend every spare hour I have working from home (because I cannot have the luxury of going to an office anymore.) What do I do? I campaign on behalf of Young Carers and raise awareness for both Young Carers and the IH Research foundation together with writing children’s books to help young carers focus on the positives in their lives.

    I am seriously offended by George Osborne’s comments… he wants to live a day in our shoes and then rethink his attitude towards the carers of Britain, because without us this country WOULD be completely BANKRUPT!!!

    Comment by caitlinswish | October 25, 2012 | Reply


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