Labour will improve support for carers, says Emma

January 15, 2015

Emma Lewell-Buck 19smallEmma has endorsed Labour’s plans to improve support for Britain’s 5.4 million unpaid family carers.

The plans, announced by Labour’s Shadow Minister for Care and Older People Liz Kendall MP, would give carers the right to ask for an annual health check, and would create a single point of contact for family carers who currently find the system stressful to navigate. Labour would also work with employers to improve flexible working for people with caring responsibilities.

Labour has already announced that it would repeal the Bedroom Tax, the Coalition policy which hits 60,000 carers who need an additional bedroom. Emma voted for a Labour Bill to make carers exempt from the Tax, but unfortunately it is unlikely to become law because the Government will not allow time for it to be debated.

Emma explained that the changes Labour was proposing could make a big difference to carers in Shields.

Emma said:

“We have a lot of people in Shields who care for a family member, but a lot of them feel overwhelmed because the system makes it tough to access support, or because they can’t find work that will let them balance their caring responsibilities.

“Family carers are just trying to take care of the people they love, and we owe them a better deal. But under David Cameron things are getting harder, with the Bedroom Tax hitting tens of thousands of unpaid carers. Not only would Labour get rid of the Bedroom Tax, but the plans we have announced today would make a real difference for carers.”

Announcing the changes, Shadow Care Minister Liz Kendall said:

“Too often carers have to battle all the different services to try and get the support they need. One in three family carers who are in paid work have to give up their job or reduce their hours because they can’t get the right help to care or flexible working hours.

“Most unpaid carers don’t have enough time to pay attention to their own health, and many don’t come forward for help or get any breaks. Often people don’t even see themselves as being a carer – they’re just a son, daughter, husband, wife or partner trying to look after the person they love.

“It’s not right that people who do so much get so little in return. We need to improve support for families, and Labour’s package of measures will make a real and practical difference to their lives.”

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