Report warns of health and earnings risk to unpaid family carers

It’s about time the spotlight swung round to illuminate the plight of unpaid family carers.

I’m one, and I can confirm that life for carers like me is a never-ending, thankless struggle to make ends meet, combat government attempts to terminate my partner’s sickness and disability benefits (and my own Carer’s Allowance), cope with my partner’s mood swings that can make me feel entirely unappreciated, and avoid knock-on effects on my physical and mental health as well.

I am fortunate enough to be able to earn a little extra cash by writing This Site (although it has attracted enmity from certain vested interests who are determined to deprive me of this valuable income stream by disparaging my articles and my character – click on the link to my JustGiving site for further information on that).

Others have to rely on government funding that is dwindling in value every year.

It is an agonising struggle to avoid being crushed between the rock of my partner’s needs and the hard place of increasing financial pressures.

The report mentioned below makes recommendations – but these relate only to carers who are also employees.

Much more help is required.

Nearly eight million family carers in the UK are “propping up the care system” by providing unpaid care for relatives and other loved-ones, whilst also paying a significant personal and financial price for the care they provide, according to a new report from the Social Market Foundation (SMF) think tank.

Research has calculated that around 7.6 million adults are giving up their time to provide unpaid care for relatives, up 1 million since 2005 and equal to almost 15% of adults living in the UK.

In [a] report published on Monday, the SMF says the proportion of family carers providing 20 or more hours of unpaid care each week has increased from 24% in 2005 to reach 28% in 2015, with family carers providing an average 19.5 hours of unpaid care each week.

In total, family carers are sacrificing 149 million hours to care for loved-ones every week, equal to 4 million paid care-givers working full-time hours.

However, this level of unselfishness can have a devastating impact on the carers’ health and work prospects, with family carers less likely to be in employment than non-carers and more likely to earn far less.

Source: Nearly 8 million unpaid carers are ‘propping up’ the broken care system

Visit our JustGiving page to help Vox Political’s Mike Sivier fight anti-Semitism libels in court

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


6 thoughts on “Report warns of health and earnings risk to unpaid family carers


    What the government will take from this is that their wealth has lost 4 million wage slave equivalents per year who could be made to work instead for a pittage wage creating them more wealth producing useless widgets we don’t need or services people can’t afford.
    Neo-liberalism knows compassion isn’t a business ethic, so look out for new measures in the autumn legislative session, and a new press drive about “feckless carers selfishly looking after relatives rather than contributing to GDP”, to make your task even more harder, and to increase the death rate amongst the disabled.

    Have the guillotines arrived from France yet? In the small print of the Brexit conversations I thought we got to borrow them in return for a not-so-hard-as-dry-dogs**t maybe-Brexit….

  2. Florence

    In my area we are being subject to a “reorganisation” of primary care and social care, designed, it is said to reduce hospital admissions. At one of the consultation events I asked directly if the difference between current social care provision and that required in the new system was to be filled by unpaid care from friends and family. Bingo. I followed this up by asking if they had actually done any research to determine if there was this “spare” capacity in our communities .Of course not .

    So, when you hear about the “new way of working” in this you have to understand, it’s more rationing, and is going to lead to far worse neglect and more early deaths.

  3. Justin

    I agree with you, even as a volunteer I do some of the hard roles and recognise that when I do that the break for the person is needed and awesome, for me it is also hard work, there a lot of stuff you have to go through safeguarding, health and safety etc, for that were not paid, I also go back to when imbecile smith said fit enough to volunteer fit enough to work, when this uc comes in although it say it will it take in within hours will it take the amount of time that goes into planning something or training, I doubt it, for me and a lot of other’s like me the dwp and this government taking the piss by demanding and making more demands on the voluntary sector may work against them when we just say no, we do your silly job hunt for non existant work or zero hours or three month bit part contracts, while at the same time expecting us to do nothing caring, giving respite etc, so I would think real carefull mcvey and the rest of her harpies in unreal office of dwp, you rely on voluntary, carer’s and so on, that can soon stop

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I think there are – I didn’t mention them because I was drawing attention to the relevant article. It should have all the figures you need.

  4. Jill Jervis.

    I’ve just nursed my mother for three weeks while she was dying of cancer and I honestly can say, I don’t think I could have done it for a longer period. Thankfully I had the help of Douglas Mcmillan in the later stages but it was still tiring. Anyone looking after a relative for any length of time deserves all the help and praise they need.

Comments are closed.