We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Unpaid carers save economy almost £600 million each year – Lib Dems reveal

October 13, 2019 2:21 PM
By Nick Machnik-Foster

Unpaid carers save economy almost £600 million each year - Lib Dems reveal

Unpaid carers save Wolverhampton's economy nearly £600 million a year, suggests figures uncovered by Wolverhampton Liberal Democrats.

The council admitted to the City Liberal Democrats that the financial impact of unpaid carers in the city is £594 million a year.

Around 27,000 people in the city acted as informal carers according to official figures. The numbers of hours that people provide care is given as:

• 15,450 provide 1 to 19 hours p/w (6.2% of the population)

• 4,278 provide 20 to 49 hours p/w (1.7% of the population)

• 7,408 provide 50 hours or more p/w (3% of the population)

Often carers will help the person they care for with everyday tasks such as helping someone to bed, getting them to up in the morning, helping them to wash and dress, making of meals and help with toileting.

Adult carers often experience loneliness and isolation, poor health and financial hardship. Younger carers may find it harder at school and beyond and it could impact on their mental health.

Women are more likely than men to be informal carers, with women making up 59% of carers.

The party are urging carers in the city to take up all the benefits they are owed like the Carer's Credit. This comes after news came to light that fewer than one in 10 carers who could claim free annual credits to boost their state pension are doing so, official figures reveal.

The Government is being urged to do more to get people signed up after it emerged just under 17,400 applied last year nationally, out of around 200,000 who are estimated to be eligible.

The party have also called on the council to double to budget the budget for carers services in the city.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat campaigner Leyla Abbes said:

"Unpaid carers prop up our entire social care system in the city but have for decades been taken for granted by the council.

"More and more of us are providing care for an older, disabled or ill loved one, yet even a few hours caring a week can result in having to cut down hours or give up work, bringing devastating and irreversible consequences for long term financial security.

"As our population ages, growing numbers of people will be juggling work and care, particularly in later life and society and public services must adapt to support them,"

Ends

Notes to editors - Details on the carers credit can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/carers-credit/how-to-claim

The document given to the City Liberal Democrats after questions on council assessments of the financial impact of unpaid carers on the city is attached.

If you use the data please cite Wolverhampton Liberal Democrats.