Carers Trust responds to the Chancellor’s support plan for cost-of-living crisis

The Chancellor, the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, has today announced in Parliament a support package to help people with the cost-of-living crisis.

Responding to the plan, and its implications for unpaid family carers across the UK, Carers Trust’s Chief Executive Officer, Kirsty McHugh, said:

“We welcome, of course, the additional financial support for low-income households, including extra cost of living support for those on disability benefits.

“But we are extremely disappointed to learn that unpaid carers have been shut out of additional support yet again with Carer’s Allowance excluded from the benefits listed as qualifying for the extra £650 one-off payment for those in greatest need.

“Many of the UK’s seven million unpaid family carers bore the brunt of the pandemic. And before that were already experiencing a cost-of-living crisis because more than half of them had had to give up paid work because of their caring role. Now millions of those unpaid carers on Carer’s Allowance who were already experiencing acute financial hardship have been forgotten yet again by the Government, with only those on means tested benefits like Universal Credit qualifying for the additional £650 payment.

“The UK Government needs to urgently follow the example of the governments in Wales and Scotland. They have targeted unpaid carers who receive Carer’s Allowance there with extra financial support to recognise how their vital caring roles have all too often pushed them into financial hardship.  

“We also call on the UK Government to identify unpaid carers as a priority group in its guidance on new funding for local authorities on the Household Support Fund.

“For millions of unpaid carers, the support announced today will do little more than mitigate new pressures, rather than tackle pre-existing problems. It’s way past time for the UK Government to stop ignoring unpaid carers on Carer’s Allowance, and instead make them a priority group for the extra financial support they so desperately need, and deserve.”