The Princess Royal Trust for Carers has today praised the three main parties for bringing carers' issues to the fore following the latest in a series of nine "cabinet contender" programmes on the BBC.
But The Trust is calling on politicians to make five key pledges to the UK's six million carers, saying that hailing carers as "unsung heroes" is only the start.
BBC2's The Daily Politics show hosted the debate on public health earlier today. Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, was joined by Tory Shadow Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, and Liberal Democrat spokesman on Health, Norman Lamb. The politicians were cross examined by the BBC's Andrew Neil and Branwen Jeffreys.
Responding to praise for The Princess Royal Trust for Carers' work supporting carers during the debate, Carole Cochrane, Chief Executive at The Trust, said:
“All three parties should be congratulated for bringing the UK’s six million carers into the televised leaders debates and today's BBC debate on health.
"We welcome policies that would enable carers to access more breaks and enjoy a life of their own, and also policies, such as providing winter fuel payments to severely disabled people, that address the financial poverty that many carers and their families face.
"We were also glad to see recognition of the special support that young carers need, but this must involve more joined up support for whole families so that their children are not left in inappropriate caring roles.
“We agree that carers are ‘unsung heroes’ but let us not kid ourselves that by singing their praises we will solve the problems they face, such as poverty, ill-health and isolation. There is no magic solution and it will take more than a five minute debate.
“The Princess Royal Trust for Carers is calling on all parties to make the following pledges, which carers tell us will help greatly improve their lives: regular breaks for carers; a Carers’ Centre in every area; greater employment or benefit support; and help for young carers in school and further education.”