Dawn Bowden MS, Welsh Labour’s Member of the Senedd for Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney, has welcomed the announcement from the Welsh Labour Government that 1,543 unpaid carers in the constituency will receive a £500 payment in recognition of the pivotal role they have played during the pandemic.
The payment is part of a £29m investment in unpaid carers from the Welsh Government and recognises the financial and emotional hardship many have experienced.
Unpaid carers who are receiving Carer’s Allowance on March 31st this year will be eligible for the payment.
Welcoming the announcement, Dawn Bowden MS said:
“Unpaid Carers have played a vital role during the pandemic. Yet they have faced huge financial and emotional hardship.
“I’m delighted that the Welsh Labour Government will recognise 1,543 unpaid carers in Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney with a £500 payment. This will give unpaid carers the uplift they need and deserve.”
“I hope this payment, which is part of a wider £29m investment in unpaid carers will show how much we, as a government, value and appreciate those who dedicate so much of their lives to caring for others.”
An unpaid carer is someone who cares for a partner, relative or friend who has an illness of disability. Carers Allowance is paid to people caring for at least 35 hours a week, who care for someone receiving certain benefits and who earn no more than £128 a week.
The payment will benefit thousands of the most vulnerable unpaid carers in Wales, who frequently care for the longest and are on the lowest incomes.
Unpaid carers will be able to submit their claim to local authorities later this year. Further details on how and when to register for the payment will be available shortly.
The payment is being launched after a survey of more than 1,500 unpaid carers found nearly half had to use their personal savings and give up work or study to care, while more than half had to give up on hobbies or personal interests because of their caring role.
Combined with the cost-of-living crisis and the fact many of those in an unpaid carer role will be caring for individuals with complex needs who require warm homes, specialist medical equipment and certain foods – it is recognised unpaid carers will be exposed to greater financial pressures than others.
It is hoped a payment of £500 will go some way to easing these pressures, as well as recognising the value of their caring role over the last year to Wales’ health and social care system.