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Powys councillor supports increase of £20 a week in carers allowance

A COUNCILLOR is delighted that a letter has now been sent to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP, to start the discussion on raising carers allowance.

At a council meeting on March 4, councillors voted in favour of a motion put forward by Cllr Jackie Charlton, asking for an increase of £20 a week in their allowance.

This was the second and most controversial of the four part motion.

This part asked that a letter to be sent to the UK Government’s Chancellor Mr Sunak and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Therese Coffey MP, urging them to raise Carer’s Allowance by £20 a week immediately, in line with the increase in Universal Credit,

On the day it was supported by 29 votes to 13 against and eight abstentions.

Cllr Charlton brought up the issue at another council meeting on March 19, stressing the need for action.

Cllr Charlton (Llangattock – Liberal Democrat), said she was “delighted” that the letter had now been sent.

Cllr Charlton who is standing  Senedd Elections as the Liberal Democrat candidate in the Rhondda Cynon Taff seat which is held by former Plaid Cymru leader, Leanne Wood, tweeted a picture of the letter to her followers.

Cllr Chartlon said: “After my Stand Up For Carers motion passed for the leader of Powys County Council to send a letter to the Chancellor asking for an increase of £20 per week in carers allowance, this letter was sent on Monday.

“I am delighted.”

In the letter to Mr Sunak, Cllr Harris (Independent – Llangynidr), said: “Unpaid carers in Powys as across the country undertake a difficult and important role, which show kindness and care for loved ones as well as providing voluntary support to our wider health and care services.

“As a council we have an outstanding partnership with a Welsh carer organisation called Credu which is delivering real change to carers in Powys through creating and implementing policies with carers, not merely about them.

“This climate of dialogue and respect is crucial to the delivery of the support carers need.”

Cllr Harris added: “These unpaid carers save the Welsh Government a significant amount annually by reducing the demand upon paid community care services.”

At the end of 2019 in Powys there were 2,627 carers entitled to Carers Allowance, and only 1,563 received the allowance.

This means that 1,064 Powys residents don’t claim the £67.25 weekly allowance.

Cllr Charlton believes that unpaid carers save the Welsh Government at least £8 billion a year when comparing the hours they work, and how much paid carers could earn in the same time frame.

The current lust of declared candidates standing in the Rhondda are:

Steve Bayliss – Reform UK

Jackie Charlton – Liberal Democrats

Tom Parkhill – Conservatives

Leanne Wood – Plaid Cymru

Buffy Williams – Labour

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