Part of Blog Action Day 2008
Every year in the UK 2 million people become carers.
Carers provide unpaid care by looking after an ill, frail or disabled family member, friend or partner.
Carers give so much to society yet as a consequence of caring, they experience ill health, poverty and discrimination.
Taken from Carers UK
Many carers are unable to work because they have to provide care for loved ones. Typically they provide over 80 hours of care a week, often they care around the clock 24 hours a day without a day off.
Carers who look after someone for more than 35 hours a week and cannot work can claim Carer’s Allowance. It’s the least amount of any benefit provided by the goverment.
Carer’s Allowance is just £50.55 a week.
What would you go without? The typical family spends £47 a week on food and drink. Then another £48 a week on housing, fuel and power. We haven’t even considered paying for clothes, health, transport or communication.
You’re not entitled to much of a life as a carer as this drawing illustrates:
You just about get a full life in your feet and your socks compared to a typical UK person.
A carer gets £2,600 a year. That’s all their efforts are worth in our society. The typical UK salary is £19,500. Even those on minimum wage working a 35 hour week get over £10,000.
Energy bills will be £1000 this year. That’s just under half of a carer’s income on just heating, hot water and cooking. The UK government considers you to be in fuel poverty if you spend more than 10% of your income on fuel.
Our carers and those one they care for are shortchanged, often living in poverty, isolated from their communities and not having recognition for the contribution they make.
Poverty isn’t just something that happens a long way away. It’s happening in your town right now.
You might also be interested in:
- Caring About Poverty at my husband’s blog Groves Media
- Recycling Lives: Supporting, Inspiring, Employing at The Rubbish Diet
- How I Learned To Stop Being Selfish and Love the Power of Porridge at Mission Creep
- Little Actions Make Big Changes at Watford Gap’s Travels
- Bake Bread, Give Dough, End Poverty at Little Pinch of Salt
- philippine poverty haiku poems at a haiku poem blog