We have joined over 100, caring, anti-poverty, women’s rights organisations, unions and think tanks to issue an urgent plea for politicians across the UK to act to protect carers from a growing poverty crisis.
In a joint open letter, the organisations say that carers on the frontline of the fight against the Coronavirus are facing ‘intolerable pressure’, having been undervalued and under rewarded for far too long.
The signatories, which include Oxfam, Dementia UK, Carers UK, the Women’s Budget Group, the IPPR and Unison are calling for carers, both paid and unpaid, to be protected from poverty through measures calling for Carer’s Allowance to be raised and better investment in the care and support services for families.
The coalition highlights that the vast majority of carers across the UK are women, which reinforces unfair expectations and widens gender inequalities. Many of these women also face age, disability and race inequality. The signatories say there has been ‘insufficient action’ to share care work more evenly.
Dr. Hilda Hayo, CEO and Chief Admiral Nurse at Dementia UK said: “Sadly the huge increase in calls to our Admiral Nurse Helpline is testament to how the coronavirus pandemic is exacerbating the many challenges faced by carers. Increasingly they are having to provide 24/7 care with little or no support available to them. Many of these carers are women and many are struggling to make ends meet. This situation isn’t sustainable and many families risk tipping into crisis. These carers are doing everything they can to keep their loved ones safe and they urgently need better recognition and support.”