Our Carers Deserve Better
By Ed Davey MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats
It's Carers Week - a chance to recognise, celebrate and, most of all, listen to the stories of unpaid carers.
People looking after their loved ones are doing a remarkable job in difficult circumstances. As a carer for most of my life - first for my mum, then for my gran, and now for my disabled son, John - this is something I know all too well.
My experiences as a carer have helped shape my politics and my perspective. But at times, it can be incredibly challenging.
Far too often, carers feel forgotten and ignored by those in power - and crucially, left out of support.
They were left out of the Conservatives' white paper proposals for social care. They were left out of the Autumn 2022 Covid vaccine booster programme. And now, they're being left out of Rishi Sunak's cost of living package.
Family carers up and down the country are facing huge pressures right now as petrol prices, energy bills and food prices all go through the roof. At the same time, many are struggling to juggle paid work with their caring responsibilities. And Carer's Allowance remains the lowest benefit of its kind, at just £69.70 a week.
But yet again, the Conservatives have completely ignored carers - and have even slashed their support by £207 this year, once soaring inflation is factored in.
Our carers deserve so much better than this. They deserve to be supported, not penalised. That's why Liberal Democrats are campaigning to increase the Carer's Allowance by £1000 each year.
So this Carers Week, I will keep listening and continue to use my voice to speak up for carers. They can't be taken for granted any longer.