“Unpaid carers provide vital support for thousands of people every day, which councils fully recognise and want to help in any way they can."
Responding to today’s announcement of a £5 million Carers Innovation Fund as part of the Government's Carers Action Plan, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“Unpaid carers provide vital support for thousands of people every day, which councils fully recognise and want to help in any way they can.
“We support the principles of the Carers Action Plan and any extra money is helpful. However, the reality is that there are an estimated 6.7 million unpaid carers across the UK, saving the country about £132 billion a year and last year councils supported or assessed more than 360,000 unpaid carers. Therefore this falls short of what is required.
“If we are to achieve our aspirations for all unpaid carers - who are needed in increasing numbers to address the rise in those needing care - and fulfil the ambition and intent of the Care Act to ensure caring doesn’t impact on a carer’s health and wellbeing, government needs to plug the funding gap facing adult social care and support which is set to reach £3.6 billion by 2025.
“It also needs to ensure that any progress made from the Carers Action Plan and innovation fund can be carried forward into the future by mainstreaming carers support in the long-awaited green paper on social care and support.”
Councils in England face an overall funding gap of £8 billion by 2025. The LGA’s #CouncilsCan campaign aims to influence the forthcoming Spending Review and highlight the growing risk to vital local services if the Government does not take action to secure the financial sustainability of councils. Visit our campaign page for more information.