Howarth backs campaign for fairer deal for carers

November 30, 2009 11:20 AM

David Howarth MPMP David Howarth is backing a national campaign to ensure that Cambridge carers receive all the help to which they are entitled.

He has given his support to Carers UK as it prepares to launch Carers' Rights Day on Friday, December 4.

The campaign is designed to increase the take-up of benefits and raise awareness of carers' rights and the support they may be able to get to protect their pensions.

Mr Howarth said: "It's a real concern that carers in Cambridge may not be getting all the help to which they are entitled.

"Carers are fulfilling a vital role in society and without them the NHS and social care system would not be able to cope. It is essential that they are given information about their rights so that they get the support they need in order to plan for their futures."

There are around 7,500 carers in Cambridge and more than 4,000 of them juggle paid work with the care they provide to family, friends of neighbours. Just under 800 carers suffer from poor health.

They could be entitled to the Carer's Allowance, council tax discount, Pension Credit or Housing Benefit but may not be claiming.

Mr Howarth urged carers to get in touch with the Carers UK Adviceline on 0808 808 7777 or visit its website at www.carersuk.org to receive a free booklet. Carers can also pick up booklets in their local Lloydspharmacy store.

Imelda Redmond, Carers UK Chief Executive said: "Pensions are built up from National Insurance contributions over the years. Many carers haven't been able to make those contributions because of gaps in paid work and, despite their huge contribution to our society there is a real risk that they will end up with less pension in their retirement."

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