As the Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Worsley and Eccles South I am committed to support three important campaign calls by the Carers Trust.
If re-elected in May I will continue to campaign for carers rights. This will include campaigning for investment in social care, the proper identification of carers and the coordination of services to support carers.
Since I was first elected to Parliament in 2005, I have pressed both Labour and Conservative-led Governments to improve services to support carers and I have continued to campaign for carers to be identified and given the help, advice and support they need.
In March 2006, I introduced a Private Member's Bill "Identification and Support for Carers (Primary Health Care) Bill". I have continued to campaign in Parliament since then to improve support for carers. In this Parliament, over 60,000 carers have been hit by the Conservative-led Government’s Bedroom Tax, which is why I introduced a Private Members Bill to exempt carers from the Bedroom Tax. The Conservative- led Government did not support my Bill and a Conservative MP spoke against the Bill and some voted against it.
More than 20,000 people in Salford are unpaid family carers and they deal with a host of financial, emotional and practical challenges due to their caring. The Conservative-led Government has cut £149 million from Salford Council’s budget, meaning less care packages can be funded. Across the country more than £3.5 billion has been cut from council budgets for Adult Social Care, putting additional strain on unpaid family carers.
I am pleased that Labour will abolish the cruel and unfair Bedroom Tax. We have also pledged to introduce a new duty on NHS organisations to identify carers so that they can be linked up with the right support. We will also ring-fence the money that councils get for carers’ breaks to ensure this money gets spent on carers.
Care is at the heart of Labour’s values. We believe that no-one should fear old age or be left to struggle alone caring for a loved one. We will create a whole person approach: a single service to meet all of a person’s health and care needs.