The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to raise Carer’s Allowance by £1,000 a year, to help support 7,880 unpaid carers in Bristol during the coronavirus pandemic.
The party’s leader, Ed Davey, who has promised to “be the voice of the 9 million carers in our country”, has written to the Prime Minister urging him to recognise the “challenges that have been made even harder by coronavirus.”
The Liberal Democrat proposals centre around increasing Carer’s Allowance from its current rate of £67.25 a week to £87.25, in line with the £20 a week uplift in Universal Credit announced at the start of the pandemic.
The latest government figures show that 5,667 unpaid carers in Bristol currently receive Carer’s Allowance.
However, the Liberal Democrats are also calling for the 2,213 people who are entitled to Carer’s Allowance but do not receive it due to overlapping benefits – mostly older carers on low incomes – to be given the extra £20 a week as well.
Launching the campaign, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:
“Unpaid carers face big challenges every single day; challenges that have been made even harder by coronavirus.
“Many carers are facing extreme financial hardship. They have been struggling for months, often relying on foodbanks to feed themselves and the people they care for.
“So Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to support carers by raising Carer’s Allowance by £1,000 a year, now.”
Cllr Tim Kent, Bristol Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Care in Bristol and Cllr for Hengrove & Whitchurch Park added:
“Unpaid carers in Bristol are doing a remarkable and important job in very difficult circumstances.
“Our wonderful carers deserve our support, but they are too often forgotten or ignored.
“Liberal Democrats will stand up for carers and lead the way to a more caring society.”