11:29am Saturday 20th April 2013
By Reader's letter
I WOULD like to add unpaid carers to Coun Tracey Simpson-Laing’s list of people “slipping into poverty” (Letters, April 18).
In 2011 the census showed that more than 18,000 unpaid carers lived in York.
In November 2011, Carers UK & Leeds University published research showing that unpaid carers save the Government about £119 billion a year.
If an unpaid carer cares for more than 35 hours a week they can claim Carers’ Allowance of £59.75 a week (less than £2 an hour, well below the minimum wage). Many carers care for much longer.
Until this month, unpaid carers could apply for 100 per cent council tax relief; now, in York they must pay 30 per cent if they are of “working age” – regardless of whether they can work or not, regardless of whether they can afford it.
At York Carers Forum we are supporting an increasing number of unpaid carers who are are also facing changes to Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, council tax, bedroom tax, etc. It appears that the vulnerable are being asked to carry all the changes.
We are aware the council has to pass on Government cuts, but we question the wisdom and fairness of changes that can affect the poor while money is still spent on seemingly less important things.
Any carers wishing to find out more about should phone York Carers Forum at 01904 422437 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Irene Mace, Secretary (unpaid) York Carers’ Forum, Hopgrove Lane South, York.
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