State of Caring Carers UK State of Caring 2017 Report - Page 26

STATE OF CARING REPORT 2017 Recommendations There is an urgent need for a cross government plan setting out how improved support for carers will be achieved with targets and milestones so carers can see the progress being made. This should include measures: • Carer’s Allowance, just £62.70 per week on 2017/18 rates, needs to be raised significantly over the longer term and in the short term at least raised to the level of Job Seeker’s Allowance (an increase of £10 per week) with equivalent increases to carer premia to ensure that those on the lowest incomes benefit from an increase. • The earnings threshold for Carer’s Allowance needs to rise year on year in line with the National Living Wage pegged at least to the equivalent of 16 hours a week. A taper should also be introduced. • To auto-enrol carers in a second pension – a Carer’s Pension that recognises the value of unpaid work and ensures that carers do not suffer financial hardship later in life. To ensure that there is sufficient funding so that older and disabled people get the care they need and which is affordable: • An urgent new, sustainably funded settlement for social care and the NHS to make legal rights to support a reality and ensure that services are there when carers need them. This must include housing fit for caring and technology that supports caring. • Good quality, reliable and affordable care services are needed to support the role of carers and ensure we get the breaks we need to care without putting our lives on hold and our health in danger. 26 To ensure that carers and our families do not suffer financial hardship as a result of caring: