Ironic That Carers Week And Anti-poverty Week Should Coincide

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19th October 2010, 08:04am - Views: 955

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Media Release

19 October, 2010

This week is both Anti-poverty Week and Carers Week  – how ironic

“Given that so many unpaid family carers live at or below the poverty-line it is a wry irony

that Carers Week and Anti-Poverty Week should coincide.’ said Mary Lou Carter secretary

of the Carers Alliance.

In Parliament yesterday the federal government announced some measures: it will re-

introduce the Carers Recognition Bill which was roundly cricitised by grassroots carers

earlier this year as ineffective and little more than legislated lip-service; and a National

Carers Strategy will be developed. 

"These are meaningless measures because they will do absolutely nothing to improve the

lives of carer-families", said Mary Lou Carter, secretary of the Carers Alliance. 

"Carers need three things to improve their lives:  A National Disability Insurance Scheme

which gives legal entitlements to services to people with significant disabilities, a funded

network of carer-advocacy at regional, state and federal level and carer’s legislation like

that in the UK which gives carer-families legal entitlements to services.

“Carers Alliance represents the growing grassroots movement of carer-families and people

with disability whose reality will not be improved by high-sounding rhetoric and empty

gestures” said Mary Lou Carter

It is little wonder that carer-families have taken to calling Carers Week – Groundhog Day.

The lack of services to their family members with dependent disabilities means they and

their families have few of the opportunities and choices that other Australian take for

granted; like being able to work, to have financial independence and choose where to live

and what services will best meet their needs.

Carers Week recognises the many unpaid carers providing support and care for a family

member with chronic illness, mental illness, disability and the problems that come with

ageing. But without action to better their lives sentiment rings hollow.

Like many on fixed incomes, carers-families have been hard hit by cost of living rises,

particularly the cost of water and electricity. Alarmed at the erosion of their standard of

living the anticipated setting of a carbon price gives no comfort as further rises in the price

of utilities will flow-on and affect the price of all goods and services.

The last thing carer-families need is more platitudes and pittances. They want strong

effective policy and leaders with the moral and political courage to introduce reforms which

will positively transform the lives of people with dependent disabilities and carer-families

Carers Alliance is a registered federal political party formed to promote a better life for and

advance the full inclusion of people with disabilities and carer-families who support them

Contact: Marylou Carter, Secretary,  Carers Alliance



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