Unpaid carers in the East say they’re struggling to cope as cuts pile more pressure on them looking after their loved ones.
The Office of National Statistics say unpaid carers provide social care worth £57 billion in the UK, but according to ‘The Carers Trust’, 40% of those looking after relatives have not had a break in over a year.
The ‘Carer’s Allowance’ is the main carer’s benefit and works out at £62.10 for a minimum of 35 hours which is the equivalent of £1.77 per hour – far short of the national minimum wage of £6.70 per hour.
More then 3 million people currently juggle care with work, but 1 in 5 are forced to give up work altogether due to the demands of looking after their loved ones.
By 2037, it’s anticipated that the number of carers will increase to 9 million.
“It’s getting worse. There are an increasing number of people carrying out caring responsibilities for their loved ones and I think cuts, changes to benefits, changes to local authority eligibility criteria – all of those have a cumulative effect and it always targets the same group of people,” Miriam Martin from the Carers Trust told ITV News Anglia.
“We all know that budgets are really tight, but I think one of the biggest issues is that not all family carers are known to either social services or organisations like the Carers Trust who can provide much-needed support.”