Education Secretary Ed Balls has praised Barbara for persuading Ministers to provide an increase in support for young carers.
Unveiling the Government’s new £1 billion Children’s Plan in the House of Commons, Mr Balls announced that a further £3 million would be added to the £13 million budget to support young carers. This increase, Mr Balls announced, would not have been secured without Barbara’s efforts to bring the challenges facing young carers to the attention of Ministers.
Barbara, who recently welcomed a group of young carers to Parliament, spoke in the debate.
“I welcome the inclusion of young carers in the Children's Plan. A group of young carers from the National Young Carers Forum attended the House last week and told the Under-Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, my Honourable Friend the Member for Cardiff West (Kevin Brennan), about all the issues that affect their education and their lives. Does my Right Honourable Friend agree that the expert parent advisers, plus the social care reforms announced by our Right Honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Health yesterday, will help those young people start to enjoy and be free to enjoy their childhood?”
Mr Balls responded:
“I commend my Honourable Friend the Member for Worsley (Barbara Keeley) on her leadership. It was her intervention last week and her persuading of my Honourable Friend the Under-Secretary that ensured that the money was in the plan to support young carers over the next three years.”
Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who met the group of young carers Barbara brought to Parliament, echoed Mr Balls' comments the following day during Prime Minister's Question time, saying "I applaud the work that my Honouable Friend does in promoting the interests of carers and social services generally."
Barbara discusses the Children's Plan with Education Secretary Ed Balls