The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to “give carers a break”, by giving councils immediate emergency funding so they can provide the support services unpaid carers need to take a weekly break.
More than 118,000 people in Derbyshire (including Derby City) are looking after elderly, disabled or vulnerable people during the Covid pandemic.
In a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, Ed Davey highlights research from Carers UK showing that nationally:
- 64% of carers have not been able to take any breaks from their caring role during the pandemic,
- 74% feel exhausted and worn out as a result of caring during Covid, and
- 44% say they are reaching breaking point.
The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Chancellor to provide local authorities with emergency funding in his Budget on 3rd March at the latest.
Launching the campaign, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:
“Our wonderful carers deserve more support, but they are too often forgotten and ignored by people in power.
“The Chancellor mustn’t ignore carers any longer. He must provide local councils with emergency funding now, to finally give carers a break.
“Liberal Democrats are working to build a more caring society as we emerge from this pandemic.”
Lib Dem Group Leader in North East Derbyshire, Cllr Ross Shipman added:
“People in Derbyshire looking after their loved ones are doing an incredible and important job in very difficult circumstances.
“Derbyshire’s unpaid carers have taken on increased caring responsibilities during this pandemic. Most haven’t been able to take a single break since the pandemic started. Most are simply exhausted and need support now.
“Liberal Democrats are standing up for carers and calling on the Government to give them a break before the prolonged stress takes its toll on the carers mental health.”
According to the 2011 census, 118,345 people in Derby and Derbyshire provide unpaid care – although the number is now thought to be much higher. The local 2011 census data is available from the Office for National Statistics at www.nomisweb.co.uk.
The Carers UK report ‘Caring behind closed doors: six months on’ is available here.