Kirkby Lonsdale carer, Mike Seaton of Carers Support South Lakes and Tim Farron react to Carer’s Allowance increase

THE news that the Carer’s Allowance is to rise by a few pence a week has been met with disappointment and anger.

The Government recently announced that they would only be increasing the allowance in line with inflation, working out at around an extra 35p a week.

Carer’s Allowance is currently paid at £67.25 a week, according to Carers UK.

Mike Seaton, CEO of Carer Support South Lakes, said: “This increase is extremely disappointing and unfair.

“Unpaid carers save the Government billions of pounds a year, their roles have increased dramatically especially during the pandemic, they are unable to access any respite and the added responsibilities are affecting their emotional and physical wellbeing.

“Surely our carers who give so unselfishly are worth more than five pence a day?”

Recent research from Carers UK found that unpaid carers are saving the taxpayer a £530m every day throughout the pandemic.

Jane Chilton, from Kirkby Lonsdale, cares for her husband Toby and is retired.

“The pay rise for carers is derisory, it’s tiny,” she said.

“And people who are caring for their loved ones are taking a big burden off the NHS and the Government’s shoulders financially.

“It’s very difficult for people who are carers, there’s a lot of psychological and emotional burdens, but also there’s the huge burden of poverty.”

Ms Chilton also raised the issue of carers being unable to receive some other financial support alongside the Carer’s Allowance.

Unpaid carers are not able to receive Carer’s Allowance if they are in receipt of certain other benefits or if they earn over £128 a week, this includes state pensions.

“The limitation for financial support once you get over pensionable age means you cannot get extra support,” she said.

“Once you get over a pensionable age you get nothing.”

MP Tim Farron has written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, asking him to use next month’s Budget to increase Carer’s Allowance by £20 a week to match the uplift in Universal Credit during the pandemic.

In his letter to the Chancellor, Mr Farron said the rise of 35p a week was ‘pathetic’ and an ‘insult’.

He said: “Rather than palm them off with this derisory rise, you should put your money where your mouth is and support carers properly, by raising Carer’s Allowance by £1,000 a year immediately, in line with the uplift in Universal Credit.”

The Westmorland Gazette | News