Local Lib Dem parliamentary spokesperson, James MacCleary, is calling on the Government to raise Carer’s Allowance by £1,000 a year, to help support 1,515 unpaid carers in Seaford, Newhaven, Lewes, Ringmer and the rest of Lewes District during the coronavirus pandemic.
The party’s leader, Ed Davey ( pictured) who has promised to “be the voice of the 9 million carers in our country”, has written to the Prime Minister urging him to recognise the “challenges that have been made even harder by coronavirus.”
The Liberal Democrat proposals centre around increasing Carer’s Allowance from its current rate of £67.25 a week to £87.25, in line with the £20 a week uplift in Universal Credit announced at the start of the pandemic.
The latest government figures show that 978 unpaid carers in Lewes District currently receive Carer’s Allowance.
However, the Liberal Democrats are also calling for the 537 people who are entitled to Carer’s Allowance but do not receive it due to overlapping benefits – mostly older carers on low incomes – to be given the extra £20 a week as well.
James MacCleary said: “Unpaid carers in our community are doing a remarkable and important job in very difficult circumstances. Being a carer is big job at the best of times, but with the added anxiety of Covid-19 and Brexit many are under greater pressure than ever.
“Too often unpaid carers are forgotten or ignored. This government has so far found billions for contracts with Tory party donors, so there is clearly money available. I hope that Maria Caulfield will be prepared to stand up in parliament and support this campaign.”
Launching the campaign, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:
“Unpaid carers face big challenges every single day; challenges that have been made even harder by coronavirus.
“Many carers are facing extreme financial hardship. They have been struggling for months, often relying on foodbanks to feed themselves and the people they care for.
“So Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to support carers by raising Carer’s Allowance by £1,000 a year, now.”