Millions of carers have been left thousands of pounds worse off and struggling to keep up with rising costs after receiving an “insulting” 4p an hour increase in carers’ allowance.
Family members who care for sick loved ones for more than 35 hours a week and who receive the state-paid benefit have been pushed into poverty by rampant inflation.
Carers’ allowance increased from £67.60 a week to £69.70 in April, a rise of just £2.10 a week, or 3.1pc, while general consumer prices are expected to jump 10pc this year. This represents a 4p an hour uprating for those working eight hours a day, seven days a week.
Households unable to supplement their incomes with extra work will be pushed to the brink as they face rising costs. Energy bills alone have increased by £693 a year on average.
The average household expects their outgoings to rise by £252 a month, or £3,020 a year, according to a survey by LifeSearch, an insurance broker, and the Centre for Economics and Business Research consultancy. However, carer households typically use more energy than the average.
Christie Michael, 38, from Essex, who cares for her 79-year-old mother full time, said the increase in the allowance was “insulting”.