Category Archives: ukcuts

West Norfolk councillor demands government help for ‘retirement’ county

Alexandra Kemp

A West Norfolk councillor has called for greater government support to meet the costs of providing care for the county’s elderly population.

Norfolk County Council is due to set its budget for the forthcoming financial year on Monday, including plans for a near five per cent rise in council tax.
But, although most of that would go towards adult social care if implemented, critics say even greater funding is needed. And Clenchwarton and Lynn South representative Alexandra Kemp has written to the communities secretary, Sajid Javid, to demand extra support.

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Life on a low income in the UK today

Part of Solve UK poverty

Making ends meet when you have very little is extremely hard work. More than one in three families in the UK today – over two million families – have an inadequate income.

A new report by Loughborough University for JRF Falling short: the experiences of families living below the Minimum Income Standard looks at 30 families who are all living below the Minimum Income Standard (MIS). This is an income level determined by regular research asking the public what they think is required for an acceptable living standard in the UK today – including social participation as well as physical essentials. Some are managing to get by, but can’t imagine being able to stretch to a day trip or low cost family holiday. Others struggle to afford material necessities like food and school uniforms.

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New law failing to deliver for England’s unpaid carers

A year on

A year on from the introduction of the Care Act, a review by the UK’s largest charity for unpaid carers has found that the new act has made little or no difference to the 5.4 million carers in England.

Carers Trust surveyed and spoke to unpaid carers looking after their sick or disabled family and friends, and to health and social care professionals to find out how well they thought the new act, which entitles carers to an assessment of their needs, was working.

The review, led by former care minister Paul Burstow, found a ‘mixed picture’ with examples of good practice, but in many cases found that the act had made no difference to carers. In some instances, carers hadn’t heard about the measures that had been introduced, which could support their needs and well-being as a carer.

The new Care Act came into force on 1 April 2015 and gave carers rights on an equal footing to the people they care for.

Their new rights include taking into consideration the carer’s health and wellbeing, family relationships and their need to balance their home life with their education or work. If they are found to be eligible they are entitled to support, sometimes funded by their local authority. In addition, all local authorities must provide advice and information and prevent carers’ needs from getting worse.

Former Care Minister, Professor Paul Burstow said: “For many of the carers who responded to Carers Trust’s calls for evidence, the response was stark – the act had made no difference. It was news to some that there were new rights as they simply hadn’t heard of them.

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