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Angela Smith MP and Usdaw welcome new Carers Strategy

Angela Smith MP joined with Usdaw, the trade union at the forefront of campaigning for working carers, to welcome yesterday’s Carers Review, including £150m funding for more respite care and short breaks for carers, as well as the commitment that carers will be supported so that they are not forced into financial hardship by their caring role.

Angela spoke with working carers about their difficulties juggling work and care and the financial hardships that they face at a meeting organised by Usdaw.

Ms Smith said, “I was delighted to meet with some of the millions of hard-working carers who do such a vital job and show tremendous dedication. I will give them as much help as I can, so I am working with Ministers to ensure that carers receive more financial support and to make sure that the benefits system does not prevent carers from entering paid employment or full-time education.

“I have therefore written to the Minister James Purnell and Chancellor Alastair Darling in support of raising Carers Allowance and extending it to people who earn up to £250 a week, rather than the current earnings limit of £95 a week.”

John Hannett, General Secretary of Usdaw and a member of the Government’s Standing Commission for Carers welcomed Angela’s support,

“I am delighted to have the support of Angela Smith MP. The Carers Strategy is an excellent first step towards the goal of recognising, valuing, and fully supporting carers.

“Angela’s proposal to increase Carers Allowance and to extend it to thousands more low-paid carers would go a long way to giving carers the additional assistance that they need. We will work together to press for this proposal to be given priority in the next Comprehensive Spending Review.”

Angela with a group of carers and John Hannett

Angela with a group of carers and John Hannett

Issued : 13 June 2008

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