Diary of a Sutton Councillor

Carers Poverty Protest 22nd April 2009

carers1An independent grassroots collaboration of carers is organising a protest rally highlighting the fact that many carers are forced into poverty as a result of their caring role.

The London protest will be held in Old Palace Yard at 11am on Wednesday 22nd April 2009, marching to 10 Downing Street to present a petition.


The protest is supported by Carers UK, the Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads.


In Sutton we are organising a large coach to transport all interested parties – carers or their representatives, to London so that they can attend the March. Our Sutton & Cheam MP Paul Burstow will be supporting the march and making a speech. Please contact either me or the Sutton Carers Centre direct to reserve a place on the coach.


There is similar action planned on the same date to march on the Scottish Parliament. This will start from Edinburgh Castle at 1pm and aims to arrive outside the Scottish Parliament at 1.45.


The petition in question states the following:


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 for 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.
 To sign this petition click here.




March 27, 2009 - Posted by | Information

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