James Sunderland speaks in a debate on dementia research in the UK

James Sunderland intervenes in a debate on dementia research to pay tribute to the hidden army of about 6.5 million carers across the UK who save the Treasury billions and calls for an increase in the carer’s allowance.

James Sunderland (Bracknell) (Con)

I was not going to speak today because of a clash with a Bill Committee, but I have been asked by several constituents to come in to listen to the debate. The hon. Lady is putting forward a persuasive case. I want briefly to pay tribute to the hidden army of carers across the UK: the current estimate is that there are about 6.5 million of them. They are perhaps saving the Treasury over £100 billion in lost wages. Does she agree that we should do more to increase carer’s allowance and to formally recognise those very selfless and diligent people?

Debbie Abrahams

I thank the hon. Member for his intervention. I am very grateful to him for coming here. I agree totally with the points he has made to acknowledge the army of family carers who support people living with dementia and the fact that they are supported by a pittance. We need to do much, much more in that regard.