I agree working gave you the freedom to look around for mortgages and gave you that sense of independence for your family. It's not fair that you have to pay back, I found last year that my roof was leaking so had to take out a loan from the social fund, but had to pay it back, however if I had committed a crime and was coming out of prison this would not of needed to been paid back as it would of been a grant to help my get back on my feet. I have never broken the law in my life, and always worked. Getting help now is a nightmare, so why can't the people not working on long term benefits get out in the community and help us carers ?
I think it needs a bit of hard hitting publicity rather than the 'pat on the back for the wonderful carers' stance taken by politicians and many organisations. I think adverts which show how carer's health is affected, the high mortality rates among carers, how carers exist rather than live their lives. At the end of the advert spell it out that ANYONE can become a carer and not through choice. Put in a sucinct way which causes shock and discomfort to the world at large. If you don't get it across to everyone that it might touch THEIR lives then carers will continue to be ignored. I think many people think carers are some sort of dole scroungers they should be re-educated very soon, I suspect that the government might well hit carers next.