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Carers UK manifesto 2024 and open letter to the future Prime Minister

Carers UK has today launched our manifesto for unpaid carers ahead of the General Election that is expected to take place later this year.

The support that millions of unpaid carers provide daily to family and friends is worth a staggering £162 billion a year and is instrumental in supporting our NHS, social care system and wider economy. Yet, despite their huge contribution, far too many carers do not feel recognised and supported, and too often caring comes with significant personal costs, drastically affecting people's finances, health, ability to work and to live full and social lives.

To ensure all carers get the financial, practical and workplace support they need in the future, we are calling on all political parties to commit to a new social contract for carers - one fit for the 21st Century, which recognises the enormous contribution unpaid carers make. Without a transformation in our approach to supporting unpaid carers, more people will reach breaking point, with huge implications for themselves, the people they care for, as well as the NHS, the adult social care system, and society as a whole.

Through our engagement with over 11,000 unpaid carers, Carers UK has identified areas where we want to see all political parties commit to significant and meaningful policies to transform the lives of millions of carers ahead of the upcoming General Election, including:

  1. Reform of Carer's Allowance and other social security payments for carers.
  2. A new, ambitious, and fully funded National Carers Strategy.
  3. Investment in breaks and respite services and legislation so all carers have a right to regular and meaningful breaks.
  4. Making the NHS the most carer-friendly health service in the world, with new rights and practical support.
  5. Introducing a statutory right to two weeks of paid Carer's Leave for working carers.
  6. Recognising caring as the 10th protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.
  7. Providing sustainable funding and investment in social care services.
  8. Supporting carers to better manage their health and wellbeing.

To see our full list of policy calls, please download our manifesto.

To raise awareness of our campaign, we are organising an open letter to the future Prime Minister, which we hope will gather thousands of signatures. Our plan is to deliver this letter to the new Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street following the Election.

We would also be grateful for your support in sharing our manifesto and open letter to any carers you are in contact with. You can find a suggested social media post below:

@carersuk is calling on all political parties to prioritise unpaid carers at the upcoming #GeneralElection. Download their manifesto for carers and sign their open letter to the future Prime Minister, to help ensure every carer gets the support they need.

For more information about our manifesto, or our General Election campaign, please contact

With best wishes,

The Carers UK Policy and Campaigns team

Posted: 18th April 2024