I am very happy more is being done for carers, The thing I notice is most is about counselling kind of support, I believe these types of supports will be very good for some but I think the biggest problem with carers is financial.

I know with my own family we struggle financially and as we approach the NDIS we have become even tighter with money. This week I will be using a weeks shopping money to register our disabled daughters wheelchair vehicle because our funding stopped helping with that to come in line with the NDIS.

I don’t think people should have to get really tight on food to be able to transport their disabled child around. We have already started dropping insurance and more will be dropped soon.

This puts us in a poor position. I know many are so much worse off than us financially as well due to the NDIS not covering things it should.

So I would have to ask that a good percentage of this money be put in to increasing the carers payment.

I have recently heard about the Love, Pride, Dignity Campaign, This is their request.

85-6 million dollars has been announced by the Federal Government for new support services for 2-7 million unpaid family carers. (of people with disability, illness and folk whom are aging.)

These new funds amount to $31,703 per unpaid carer. Currently unpaid carers receive the Centrelink benefit, carer payment which is benchmarked against the age pension of $404 per week, $24,000 p.a.

A key difference for unpaid whole of life family carer is never having had a working life to acrue assets nor achieve solid life financial foundations due to giving birth to a daughter or son with disability…………… superannuation for example.

Unfortunately there is no evidence about the hopes of unpaid whole of life family carers and what benefits they would like to receive from the $85-6 million. The greatest stresses for unpaid whole of life family carers in addition to providing constant caring resulting in the need for respite are financial. In home care providing is costly, water, gas, electricity and communications costs continue to escalate out of hand, le alone the cost of maintaining and replacing household and making items.

A grave disadvantage of we unpaid whole of life family caregivers is there is no vehicle for our lobbying and activism. Carer support and respite and Carer Associations have no funding to facilitate it and don’t allow it. We have no representative voice in any way save from directly and individually lobbying MP’s. No audience in which to discuss anything real? (The rea issues for parents of folk with disability are, fear our daughters and sons will be abused, constant financial stress due to inadequate income and what will happen to our daughters and sons when we die?)

No amount of carer support service is going via counselling and information provision will off-set the grave and constant stresses of poverty. Many unpaid whole of life family carer-givers would simply like a large portion of the $85-6 million, a portion of $31,703 per individual unpaid caregiver, added to our carer payment which would give us the foundations we need to continue to care with love, pride and dignity.

I would very much like to discuss this proposal with you please? Yours sincerely

Annette Herbert