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Government must address carer socio-economic disadvantage

Posted January 31, 2013

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Carers Australia welcomes the Human Rights Commission report 'Investing in care: Recognising and valuing those who care' which was released today by Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick.

Dr Tim Moore, President of Carers Australia, said “Carers Australia has been advocating for the recommendations of the Human Rights Commission report for many years; including the right to more flexible work arrangements, properly resourced services to assist unpaid carers, and ensuring that the conditions under which income support is provided does not penalise carers for engaging in education and training or participating in the workforce.”

As noted in the report, in addition to the normal parenting role, women significantly predominate carers of people with a disability and the aged, and this has a major negative impact on their life chances, including educational and employment opportunities.

The report notes that 92% of primary carers who are the parents of someone with a disability are women.  Women also account for 70 per cent of primary carers of parents, and around half (52 per cent) of the primary carers of partners.

“To put the contribution of these carers in context, in 2010 Access Economics estimated the replacement cost of unpaid care at $40.9 billion per annum,” said Tim Moore, President of Carers Australia.

“And yet, despite the fact that governments have begun to recognise the significant contribution of carers, there is still a very long way to go to to redress the socio-economic disadvantages inherent to the caring role.

“Carers Australia fervently hopes that this report will provide a strong impetus for governments to introduce reforms which they have so far resisted.”

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