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Eastbourne & Willingdon Lib Dems

Lloyd backs carers' campaign for better support

November 19, 2008 12:00 AM

Stephen Lloyd with carersLib Dem campaigner Stephen Lloyd has given his backing to local carers in their fight for better support from the government and the County Council.

The national campaign by Carers UK, 'Real Change not Short Change', calls on the government to sort out the real problem of carer benefits. Local carers also want to see better support from the County Council in helping them with their work.

Stephen Lloyd said, "The system of benefits for carers just isn't working. I receive a lot of casework from carers in the Eastbourne and Willingdon area. They perform a selfless task in helping their loved ones, but receive too little financial support. It's time carers got a better deal from the government and from the County Council."

"Caring can have a devastating impact on personal finances. One in five carers is forced to give up work, losing on average £11,000 in income. The main benefit for carers, Carer's Allowance, is just £50 a week - the lowest of its kind, while some, including those over 65 or sick, miss out on carers' benefits altogether."

"National carer-support organisation Carers UK, is organisation a march in London on Thursday 4th December, to demonstrate to the government the strong feel amongst carers across the country. There is a vibrant network of carers locally and I hope as many of them as possible will take part."

Eastbourne carer Rosemary Freeman, who lives in Old Town, added, "Carers often work some of the longest working-weeks. However, as we're not strictly 'employees', we often fall through the net when it comes to increases in financial support from the government and elsewhere. Many carers live in poverty and we need real help now."

"The government recently promised that carers would be top of the list when it came to increasing our benefits but they have failed to deliver. The County Council insist on charging carers up to £500 per week for taking their loved-ones out of their homes, if the carer needs a 'break'. Surely it would be better for people to be looked-after in their own homes, which are already suited to their needs, for a lot less money."

"I hope that other carers from around the Eastbourne area will join us in going on the Carers UK march in London on Thursday, 4th December. Carers can call me on 732857 or can Ken Limage on 508907 for more information."