Ian Austin

Independent for Dudley North

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Austin backs pledge to support 38,000 family carers in Dudley

Dudley MP Ian Austin has pledged to improve support for rising numbers of unpaid family carers.

Census figures show that 37,864 people across the Dudley Borough care for elderly or disabled relatives, including 9,388 who provide more than 50 hours unpaid care a week.

The charity Carers UK has raised concerns that the number of people caring for more than 50 hours a week is growing rapidly and currently stands at 1.3 million, with many at risk of social isolation, poor health and financial hardship as a result of giving up work to care.

Austin is calling for a new support package for family carers including ring-fenced money for respite breaks, extra support from the NHS, cheaper hospital parking fees, a single point of contact with care services and the abolition of the bedroom tax that affects an estimated 60,000 carers.

Ian Austin said:

“Lots of families in Dudley are struggling to make ends meet, and thousands of local family carers are being hit particularly hard.

“Caring is a demanding job in itself, but one in three carers who are in paid work have to give up their job or reduce their hours because they can’t get the right support.

“Carers deserve a government that’s on their side, so I want carers to benefit from NHS support and an end to the Bedroom Tax that’s hit so many of them.”

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