The Inquiry was established to examine the costs of caring and the impact of the Welfare Reform Act and to influence future policy on supporting carers. Supported by an Expert Panel made up of older and disabled people’s organisations, academia and social policy experts, the Inquiry gathered evidence through public polling, survey data, case study modelling and evidence sessions with families across the UK. The Inquiry findings cover four key areas: the costs of caring; caring and work; carers' benefits; and the impact of the Welfare Reform Act 2012. The evidence from the Inquiry shows an increasingly divergent picture of families’ increasing contribution in unpaid care and diminishing support from Government. As the number of carers, the amount of care they provide and the disadvantage they face continue to grow, the support carers receive from benefits and social care is either failing to keep pace or being reduced.
This is unsustainable. Further reductions in support for families who are often already struggling to cope will push many into crisis. On top of the devastating personal consequences of families reaching breaking point and being unable to care for their loved ones, the costs to the Exchequer of local authorities and the NHS of having to replace family care are extremely high.