Press Release

MP concerned about the benefits system and carers

9th September 2009

Aberavon MP and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Carers’ Group, Dr Hywel Francis has expressed his concern regarding the vulnerable position carers are facing because of the confusing and complex system in accessing state benefits and employment support to which they are entitled.

Dr Francis said,

‘The recent excellent report from the Committee of Public Accounts reveals that carers find it hard to access state benefits and employment support because of confusing and complex processes and poor communication from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).'

Dr Francis added,

‘It is unacceptable that one in five carers find it difficult to claim benefits and face complex and impenetrable rules that make little common sense. Carers are also facing delays in having their applications processed. For someone who is looking after a newly disabled relative this can add additional stress in what is already a difficult time.'

Dr Francis concluded,

‘The benefits system has to be overhauled for carers. Carers are saving the state a staggering £87 billion a year and feel frustrated that the benefits system does not meet their needs. The Carer’s Allowance is not fit for purpose and this report gives extra weight to the calls to overhaul the whole system. The Government has said that by 2018 no carer should be in financial hardship because of their caring role, but carers cannot wait until then: the time for action is now.’

Return to the top of the page
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Level Double-A Conformance to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0