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Open letter to all MPs, MSPs and MSs, act now to end poverty for Britain’s carers

The National Care Forum has joined 100 charities and unions urging MPs to protect Carers from a growing poverty crisis.

Open letter to all MPs, MSPs and MSs,

Carers were already facing a poverty crisis, and our organisations are seeing this exacerbated by Covid-19. Whether paid or unpaid, carers have faced a social security system that has not always protected them from poverty while paid carers have had to survive on poverty wages and insecure contracts.

All of us depend on someone to care for us at some point in our life – as a child, in older age, or due to ill health or additional needs. More than ever, this pandemic has made us all appreciate the incredible value and dedication of carers – both those who are paid and those who provide unpaid care for family or friends. Many are facing unprecedented levels of danger to protect us all. Failing to ensure carers are protected from poverty would be truly unforgiveable.

The vast majority of carers are women, many of whom also face age, disability and race inequality. There has been insufficient action to share care more evenly, and carers have been under-valued for too long.

While governments have tried to cushion the immediate impact of this crisis, more needs to be done to alleviate the intolerable pressure carers face. The measures needed include: increasing Carer’s Allowance and Child Benefit; fixing Universal Credit by removing the five-week wait, the two-child limit and the benefit cap; ending the ‘no recourse to public funds’ policy which limits the support available to carers who are not UK citizens; and injecting cash into social care so employers can pay their workers at least the Real Living Wage.

Right now, the focus is rightly on saving lives but we urge you to use your influence to ensure governments across the UK use every tool they have to protect people from poverty.

They should also build back better by ensuring the decisions they take now and in the future tackle existing inequalities.
By ensuring no carer faces poverty, we will honour those doing so much to care for so many.

Yours sincerely,
Danny Sriskandarajah, Chief Executive, Oxfam GB
Alison Garnham, Chief Executive, Child Poverty Action Group
Helen Walker, Chief Executive, Carers UK
Matthew Bolton, Executive Director, Citizens UK
Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson, Director, UK Women’s Budget Group
Victoria Benson, Chief Executive Officer, Gingerbread
Dave Prentis, General Secretary, UNISON
Barbara Plant, National President, GMB
Paddy Lillis, General Secretary, Usdaw
Dr. Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretaries of the National Education Union
Jesika Parmar, Regional Officer for South East and Siobhan Endean, National Officer for Community Youth and Not for Profit Sector, Unite
Graham Whitham, Director, Greater Manchester Poverty Action
Jane van Zyl, Chief Executive, Working Families
Katy Styles, We Care Campaign
Sam Smethers, Chief Executive, The Fawcett Society
Dr. Nick Owen MBE, CEO, The Mighty Creatives
Laura Payne, Project Manager, 4in10 London Child Poverty Network
Vic Rayner, Executive Director, National Care Forum
Jane Williams, Chief Executive, The Magpie Project
Thomas Croft and Diana Skelton, National Coordination Team, ATD Fourth World
Thomas Lawson, Chief Executive Officer, Turn2us
Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive, National Children’s Bureau / Chair, End Child Poverty Coalition
Sabine Goodwin, Coordinator, Independent Food Aid Network
Carys Roberts, Executive Director, Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)
Peter Grigg, Chief Executive, Home-Start UK
Dr Hilda Hayo, Chief Admiral Nurse and CEO, Dementia UK
Miatta Fahnbulleh, Chief Executive, New Economics Foundation
Amanda Mackenzie, Chief Executive Officer, Business in the Community
June O’Sullivan MBE, Chief Executive, London Early Years Foundation
Edel Harris, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Mencap Society
Sally Light, Chief Executive, Motor Neurone Disease Association
Sarah-Jayne Clifton, Director, Jubilee Debt Campaign
Caroline Abrahams, Emily Holzhausen and Jackie O’Sullivan, Chairs of the Care and Support Alliance
Nick Moberly, Chief Executive, MS Society
Joe Levenson, Director of Communications and Campaigns, Young Women’s Trust
Sally Bonnie and Diane Baxter, Inspire Women
Steve Ford, Chief Executive, Parkinson’s UK
Caroline Stevens, Chief Executive, National Autistic Society
Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive, Independent Age
Joeli Brearley, Founder, Pregnant Then Screwed
Niall Cooper, Director, Church Action on Poverty
John, The Lord Bird MBE; Founder, The Big Issue
Kathy Evans, Chief Executive, Children England
Marc Francis, Policy and Campaigns Director, Z2K Trust
Cerys Furlong, Chief Executive, Chwarae Teg
Jemima Olchawski, Chief Executive, Agenda: Alliance for Women and Girls at Risk
Mark Winstanley, Chief Executive Officer, Rethink Mental Illness
Iqbal Nasim MBE, Chief Executive, National Zakat Foundation (NZF)
Sabina Kelly RN, CEO, The National Association of Care & Support Workers (NACAS)
Eleanor Lisney, Co-founder, Sisters of Frida
Dr Omar Khan, Director, Runnymede Trust
Sarb Bajwa, Chief Executive, The British Psychological Society
Laurence Guinness, Chief Executive, The Childhood Trust
Mark Lee, Chief Executive of the Together Trust
Mark Davis, Chief Executive, Middlesbrough Voluntary Development Agency (MVDA)
David Ramsden, CEO, Cystic Fibrosis Trust
Anne Meikle, Convenor, The Scottish Women’s Budget Group
John Dickie, Director of Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland
Rozanne Foyer, General Secretary, Scottish Trades Union Congress
Mike Kirby, Scottish Secretary, UNISON Scotland
Claire Cairns, Coalition of Carers in Scotland
Irene Audain MBE, Chief Executive, Scottish Out of School Care Network
Ghizala Avan & Dilraj Sokhi Watson, Co-Chief Executive Officers, Amina Muslim Women Resource Centre
Sally Ann Kelly, Chief Executive, Aberlour Child Care Trust
Ewan Aitken, Chief Executive, Cyrenians
Mary Glasgow, Chief Executive, Children 1st
Billy Watson, Chief Executive, Scottish Association for Mental Health
Ian Bruce, Chief Executive Officer, Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector
Satwat Rehman, Director, One Parent Families Scotland
David Liddell, OBE, Chief Executive, Scottish Drugs Forum
Susan Paxton, Head of Programmes, Community Health Exchange (CHEX)
Claire Stevens, Chief Executive, Voluntary Health Scotland
Alan Thornburrow, Director, Business in the Community Scotland
Marie Ward, Chief Executive, Cranhill Development Trust
Simon Hodgson, Director, Carers Scotland
Peter Kelly, Director, The Poverty Alliance
Derek Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer, Citizens Advice Scotland
Professor Ian Welsh OBE, Chief Executive, Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the
Dr Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive, Scottish Care
Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive, The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations
Shaben Begum, Director, Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance
Betty Stevenson, Convenor, Edinburgh Tenants Federation
Shruti Jain, Chair, Saheliya
Russell Gunson, Director, Institute for Public Policy Research Scotland (IPPR Scotland)
Talat Yaqoob, Chair of Women 50:50
Sinéad Butters, Chief Executive, Aspire Housing Group, Chair PlaceShapers
Craig Samuel, Scotland representative, The National Association of Welfare Rights Advisers (NAWRA)
Dr Angela O’Hagan, WISE Centre for Economic Justice at Glasgow Caledonian University
Fiona Garven, Director, Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC)
Joanna Murphy, Chair, The National Parent Forum of Scotland
Don Williamson, Chief Executive, Shared Care Scotland
Gemma Bone Dodds, Trustee, on behalf of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland
Ellie Harwood, Wales Development Manager, Child Poverty Action Group
Dr Victoria Winckler, Director, Bevan Foundation
Alicja Zalesinka, Director, Tai Pawb
Claire Morgan, Director, Carers Wales
Catherine Fookes, Director, Women’s Equality Network Wales
Allison Hulmes, National Director, The British Association of Social Workers, Wales
Bethan Webber, Chief Executive, Home-Start Cymru
Bill Freeman, Chief Executive, CTA
Dr Sally Rees, Chair, Fair Treatment for the Women of Wales
Jim Barnaville, Coordinator, Caritas Archdiocese of Cardiff
Mark Russell, Chief Executive, The Children’s Society
Sean Oneill, Policy Director, Children in Wales
Sue Husband, Director, Business in the Community Cymru
Shavanah Taj, General Secretary, Wales Trade Union Congress
Derek Walker, Chief Executive, Wales Co-operative Centre
Rocio Cifuentes, Chief Executive, Ethnic Minorities and Youth Support Team Wales (EYST Wales)
Professor Laura McAllister
Ruth Marks, Chief Executive, Wales Council for Voluntary Action
Kay Polley and Sam Rex-Edwards, Co-directors, TCC (Trefnu Cymunedol Cymru / Together Creating Communities)
John Puzey, Director, Shelter Cymru
Mutale Merrill, Chief Executive Officer, Bawso

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