The surrounding benefits restrict the lives of carers and need urgent change.

I suggest:

Carers who are unable to take up paid employment because of their caring role should be paid at a rate that reflects the work they do and the hours they put in.  This would remove carers from poverty and the restrictions from their lives – reflecting their true worth and their contribution to society.

The adjustment of the 35 hour per week rule with various rates of payment according to the amount of time spent caring.

The introduction of a grant system to allow carers who cannot work outside the home to start up businesses where they can work from home.  This needs to include  the ability to continue to claim benefits for the first two years in order to give the business time to reach a profit making level.

Why is this idea important?

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.

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