Reader's letter: Job opportunity:  Unpaid carer - work 365 days of the year, on call 24/7, with no annual leave nor sick pay. Your role will include shopping, cleaning, cooking, laundry, administering medication, personal care, driver, advocate, and companion.  (It is often so much more). You will receive £67.25 per week. 

No takers? I am not surprised. Who would apply for these terms and conditions? But for one in eight adults (approx 6.5million) and at least a further 800,000 young carers, this can be reality. 

Carers save the economy at least £132 billion a year. Adult carers can receive £67.25 a week which works out to be way below the minimum wage. You only get one payment, even if you care for more than one person.

This is the lowest benefit of its kind. Young carers receive nothing and often suffer from reduced educational and social opportunities. 

During the pandemic many carers have taken on even more responsibility, and many more have become carers for the first time. As well as the exhaustion is the isolation and loneliness.

Successive governments have ignored the plight of unpaid carers. We are unable to go on strike. We are not deemed to be a priority.  

It is absolutely right that paid carers receive their Covid jab as soon as possible, but what about unpaid carers who will have to wait an indeterminate amount of time to receive theirs? What happens if we fall ill and are unable to carry on our role?

When will the government care for the carers?

S Herrington


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