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Before anybody accuses This Writer of being “self-servative”, let’s remember that I’m far from well-paid as a carer and I can’t expect any reward for having signed today’s letter in The Guardian.

You haven’t read it? It’s here. It runs as follows:

“Family carers are among the most responsible members of society. CarerWatch, along with others, believes suggestions made in recent leaked documents of moving carers to universal credit would result in an unfair system that gives no recognition whatsoever of the contribution carers make to society. CarerWatch believes that governments should accept their responsibility to carers. Carers deserve a livable income, a separate benefit which recognises that they are not unemployed or “passive” recipients of benefit but are making an important contribution to society.

“Those in receipt of carer’s allowance cannot be classed as being inactive. Carers are unique within the benefit system in that they have to provide a minimum of 35 hours a week care in order to qualify for carer’s allowance. Over 1.5 million carers provide more than 50 hours’ a week of care, some providing care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Carer’s allowance cannot therefore be considered as being a “passive” benefit. Caring places physical and emotional demands on a carer. Unpaid caring entails carrying out the same tasks and duties considered by society to be work when carried out by paid care workers.

“Without carers’ unpaid contribution to society, this unpaid care would have to be provided by state-funded social care staff at a considerably higher cost to society. Without carers, our NHS and social care systems would collapse. The average carer is saving the nation over £15,260 a year. A full-time carer saves the nation considerably more. CarerWatch believes these proposals indicate a failure on the government’s part to recognise that caring is not passive and that carers make a valuable contribution to society (estimated to be worth £119bn a year).”

This Writer is proud to stand alongside the other signatories, who are:

Rosemary O’Neill CarerWatch, Frances Kelly, Pat Onions Pat’s Petition, Karen Machin St Helens Mental Health Carers, Pam Pinder CarersforumUK, Fiona Sinclair Autism Rights, Carole Rutherford Act Now for Autism, Ruth Lister House of Lords, Neal Lawson Chair, Compass , Norma Curran Scottish Campaign for a Fair Society and Values Into Action Scotland, Lynn Williams Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Valerie Minns Rethink Carers Lancashire, Peter J Perfitt, Simon Barrow Co-director, Ekklesia, Bernadette Meaden, Dr Simon Duffy Centre for Welfare Reform, Jonathan Bartley Work and pension spokesperson for the Green party, Mo Stewart Disability studies researcher, Linda Burnip Social Work Action Network, Gail Ward, Ian Hodson BFAWU, Jo Walker, Annie Bishop, Fiona Bruce, Rob Gershon, Nessie Kay, Kaliya Franklin, Ian Jones WOW campaign, Michelle Maher, Laura Stringhetti, Carole Ford, Jane Bence #newapproach, Wayne Blackburn, Rick Burgess, Nick Dilworth, Hazel Quinn, Sue Livitt Don’t Cut Us Out, John James McCardle, Stephen Carty Black Triangle campaign, Johnny Void, Mr and Mrs Charles Huddleston, John O’Callaghan-Williamson Director of Tcell, Alan Wheatley, Ros Bentley, John and Susan Pilling, Mrs Pat Pye, Vin West Chair, Wales Alliance for Citizen Directed Support, Bill Campbell, John McDonnell MP, Adam Lotun, Anne Novis, Susan Archibald Archibald Foundation, Maggie Bridgeman, Mehrun Dasu, Tom Shakespeare, Rosemary Trustam, Sam Sly, John Dalrymple, Laura Able, Chris Coffey St Helen’s Social Inclusion and Disability Network, Margaret Chapman, Dr Rhetta Moran Refugee and Asylum Seeker Participatory Action Research, Barbara Brown, Dr Julie Ridley, Joan Gauld, Sue Taylor, Chris McCahe, Patricia Burke, Pamela Burke, Paula Peters, Louise Meram Bromley Disabled People Against Cuts, and Neil White.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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