Carers win census victory

Campaigners have welcomed the UK Government’s decision to keep a section on caring in the next national Census.

“We can’t underestimate just how critical it is to have a question on caring in the Census,” said Imelda Redmond, Chief Executive of Carers UK.

“The Census provides the best opportunity to get hard evidence on how we can support carers.”

Questions about people’s caring roles were introduced to the Census for the first time in 2001 but were under threat of being removed from the next Census in 2011 due to lack of funding.

Now Treasury Minister Anglea Eagle has announced that extra money will be made available for an extra page of questions in the next Census.

Dr Hywel Francis MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Carers, said: “This is great news for the six million carers in Britain. I would like to thank all parliamentary colleagues who in great numbers signed my Early Day Motion on this important matter, as well as all the carers’ organisation who participated in the campaign.”

Imelda Redmond added: “The 2001 Census has told us how many carers there are in every ward – no other survey can give this level of detail.

“Losing the question would have meant that local authorities and health bodies would no longer have a reliable and tailored data source on which to plan services, and would have to return to guesswork.”

Ms Redmond said the carers section in the 2001 Census had picked out important data on the relative ill health of carers compared to the rest of the population, the statistical prevalence of carers among BME communities and financial deprivation among carers.