Press Release

Aberavon MP backs report on carers

29th August 2008

Dr Hywel Francis Labour MP for Aberavon and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Carers has warmly welcomed the Works and Pension Select Committee report published today on a radical improvement on benefits for unpaid carers.

The Work and Pensions Select Committee, a cross-party group of MPs published their report 'Valuing and supporting carers' arguing for urgent reform of the 'outdated' system of benefits for carers, and better information and support for carers.

Commenting on the report Dr Hywel Francis MP said:

"I welcome the report by my colleagues in the Work and Pensions Select Committee. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Carers brings together MPs and Peers with an interest in improving support for carers. As well as introducing legislation, including my Private Member's Bill in 2004 which became the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act, we hold the Government to account and argue for improvements to carers' benefits, rights and recognition. There are six million carers in the UK and caring is something that will happen to most of us during our lives.

All MPs meet carers in our constituencies and can't fail to be moved by their dedication and selflessness. But we also see the frustration when the system seems to be working against them and they can't get the support they need. The Government's Carers Strategy, published in June, was a step in the right direction but much more is needed, particularly to address the problems with the benefits system. In particular, carers should be able to combine caring with paid work more easily and older carers should receive some financial recognition of their caring role."

Notes to Editors

1. Valuing and supporting carers' can be downloaded from the Work and Pensions Select Committee website at:

2. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Carers is a registered All Party Group (see Its purpose is "To ensure the equality of opportunity for carers in the UK by liaising with carers organisations, lobbying Government and promoting legislation on their behalf; to promote awareness amongst members of both Houses of the needs of carers and former carers; to liaise with members of the devolved administrations within the UK in order to share best practice; and to link with appropriate bodies, including carers organisations, on an international basis."

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