The first research report from the Carer Poverty Commission NI examines the scale, drivers, impact and potential solutions to poverty among unpaid carers in Northern Ireland. It is based on new data modelling, focus groups and interviews with unpaid carers.

Key findings:

  • One in four unpaid carers in Northern Ireland are living in poverty - significantly more than NI's non-carer population (16%) and higher than the carer poverty rate in the rest of the UK (23%).
  • Carers are being driven to poverty by a combination of the high extra costs of caring for a sick or disabled person, barriers to employment and inadequate support from the social security system.
  • Severe financial pressures are leaving carers struggling to afford the price of food, borrowing money from loan sharks, living in cold homes and relying on charity shops to get by.
  • The policy changes that carers want to see include an increase in the value of Carer's Allowance; new employment rights to make it easier to juggle work and care; and more supportive practices from employers and other societal stakeholders. 

The Carer Poverty Commission was established to better understand the causes of poverty among Northern Ireland’s unpaid carer population and to deliver the fresh thinking needed to address it.

Are you interested in finding out more about the work of the Carer Poverty Commission? Are you an unpaid carer in Northern Ireland who wants to take part in the research or share your experience of poverty and financial strain?

If so, please get in touch: [email protected] 

If you have a press enquiry about the Carer Poverty Commission, please contact Craig Harrison: [email protected]
or call 07553 180202