Carers who cannot take paid employment outside the home are paid a pittance and treated appallingly. They are seen as servants of the state and abused by every section of officialdom. Increasing the rates at which they are paid would give them the decent standard of living that the deserve and should be entitled to. They save this country 87billion annually by providing care that would otherwise have to be provided by the state – paying them what they are worth would cost a fraction of this.
Carers who are able to work outside the home are caught in a trap that limits the amount they are able to earn before losing benefits – this restricts their employment opportunities and fails to recognize the work they do as carers. They should be entitled to rates of benefits that reflect the time they spend caring – there would need to be some degree of means testing to prevent benefits being paid to those who are able to command high earnings for low hours in paid employments.
Grants to set up businesses would eventually reduce the benefits bill as after two years most carers would be running successful businesses and would be able to cease claiming benefits. The loan amounts would vary according to the skills of the individual carer and the type of business they wish to set up. (Some would be more expensive than others) The existence of grants rather than loans would reflect the fact that so many carers have given so much time selflessly without being paid an appropriate level of benefits – they have been trapped in a system that abuses them and t he provision of grants rather than loans would go some way to redress this injustice.