MPs and Lords join together to give carers a voice
Carers have come under increasing fire in recent years, with government cuts hitting home hard for those who care for a family member. Luckily, it seems like the two Houses of Parliament are getting together to do something about it.
The role of parliament in carers’ lives
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Carers (APPG on Carers) unites members of both houses and all parties to increase the knowledge and awareness of carers across the UK. It has recently convened for its first meeting since the general election and will hopefully discuss the future for carers.
The news of this meeting is particularly important as it re-establishes a group originally set up back in 2005. The APPG on Carers aims to look at the needs of unpaid carers, hopefully developing new means of aiding and assisting the invaluable work that they do.
How many people care in the UK?
Estimates put the numbers at about 6.5 million for people in the UK who provide some form of unpaid care. This could be for ill, disabled or elderly relatives and involves helping them to get the care they need. This form of care saves hundreds of millions in government aid but it’s only fair that in return the carers themselves are supported in every way possible.
The APPG works on a cross-party basis, with their main focus being to seek improvements in legislation for carers. They are also providing a forum for parliamentarians and expert stakeholders to discuss the important issues and come up with solutions about what can be done for carers.
Where the group will focus
Special areas of focus will be the role of the NHS, social care, employment policy and the way the social security systems impact and improve the lives of carers.
This first meeting was solely held to elect new officers, with further meetings to be held in the near future to discuss the key issues. Upcoming meetings will address financial hardship amongst carers, the Better Care Fund and employment policy.
The new officers were elected as below: Co-Chairs: Dr Dan Poulter MP and Baroness Jill Pitkeathley
Vice Chairs: Alex Cunningham MP, Mims Davies MP, Dr EilidhWhiteford MP, Caroline Lucas MP, Angela Rayner MP, Jack Dromey MP, Baroness Tyler, Baroness Lister of Burtersett