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Greens call for doubling of carers' allowance

"The Prime Minister's personal guarantee that carers would not be adversely affected by budget cuts in May is simply not good enough," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"Carers are already one of the most disadvantaged groups in the community; the Government needs to go beyond just saying carers won't be adversely affected by the budget."

"The Carers Payment should be doubled (as Carers Australia have been calling for), the long term future of carers needs to be addressed via, for example, the introduction of a Carers Superannuation scheme, and improved funding for respite care is needed."

"Mr Rudd has said that one-off payments and bonuses were an inadequate way to deal with welfare on a long-term basis, but we are not seeing any answers in his alternatives," she said.

"With all the discussion over cutting the $1600 bonus to carers, Mr Rudd seems to have lost sight of the bigger picture: even with this bonus, carers are seriously underappreciated and under funded."

"We need an integrated national carer strategy that formally acknowledges the role and contribution of carers and provides co-ordination of carer policy across government," she concluded.

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