Carers Trust responds to the Welsh Government Draft Budget 2023-24
Responding to the Welsh Government’s Draft Budget 2023-24 and what it means for unpaid carers, Dr Catrin Edwards, Head of External Affairs Wales, said:
“While there is much in this Draft Budget that shows Welsh Government’s commitment to unpaid carers, this is nevertheless a missed opportunity to take a more sustainable approach to supporting unpaid carers, who are the cornerstone of our health and social care system in Wales.
“We welcome the combined investment in the Carers Support Fund and Short Breaks Fund into 2023-24, which will allow thousands more unpaid carers to take the break they need from caring and to access essential everyday items.
“However, unpaid carers consistently tell us they need more money and more support for the person they care for.
“Support for unpaid carers is preventative and requires a longer term approach than is laid out in this Draft Budget. This means much needed investment in the social care system, which we welcome in the form of the provision of the Real Living Wage for social care workers, but it also means creative use of existing devolved powers to boost the incomes of the one in seven unpaid carers who tell us they are using foodbanks [see notes].
“In 2022 we saw Welsh Government introduce a supplement to those in receipt of Carers Allowance. This effectively added to the existing Welsh benefits framework and protected those unpaid carers on state benefits who are most vulnerable to the cost-of-living crisis as a result of the UK-run welfare system being in dire need of reform.
“Despite the progressive approach in Wales to supporting unpaid carers financially in 2022, that same proactive support does not appear to be a feature of the social justice funding assistance in the Draft Budget for the coming year. We’re calling on Welsh Government to address this ahead of the Final Budget next year.”
- Carers Trust is the UK charity working to transform the lives of unpaid carers across the UK.
- In Wales it partners with its network of local carer organisations to provide funding and support, deliver innovative and evidence-based programmes and raise awareness & influence policy.
- Carers Trust’s vision is that carers are heard and valued, with access to support, advice and resources to enable them to live fulfilled lives.
- At the 2011 Census, there were around 370,000 unpaid carers in Wales. This figure is expected to be greater when the 2021 Census data on unpaid caring is published in January 2023.
- Carers Trust’s UK-wide survey of 2,675 unpaid carers in Autumn 2022 found that 1 in 7 unpaid carers have used a foodbank. This figure rises to 1 in 5 for unpaid carers who in receipt of the state benefit, Carers Allowance. Read the report in English and in Welsh.
- Welsh Government provided a one-off payment of £500 to unpaid carers in receipt of Carers Allowance in 2022. 57,000 unpaid carers were eligible for this payment.
For media enquiries contact Dr Catrin Edwards, Head of External Affairs for Carers Trust Wales, firstname.lastname@example.org and 07791667005.