Press Release

Hywel Francis MP and Usdaw welcome new Carers Strategy

14th June 2008

Dr Hywel Francis MP joined with Usdaw, the trade union at the forefront of campaigning for working carers, to welcome the new Carers Strategy, 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.

Dr Hywel Francis MP spoke with working carers at the USDAW meeting in Parliament about their difficulties juggling work and care and the financial hardships that they face at a meeting organised by Usdaw. He was also one of the principal speakers at a Parliamentary reception organised by the Neurological Alliance in which he expressed the hope the Strategy would also be adopted by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Dr Hywel Francis MP 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 signed an Early Day Motion 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 Dr Francis's support.

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

"Hywel Francis MP'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."


1. Dr Hywel Francis MP was the sponsor of the Carers Equal Opportunities Act in 2004. He is the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Carers Group.

2. Dr Francis will be one of the speakers at a Policy Forum on Carers in Port Talbot on 27th June. For further details ring his Constituency office on 01639 897660.

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