A nationwide inquiry was launched by a charity today to shine a light on the financial realities of caring for older parents or disabled loved ones.
The 12-month inquiry was kick started as increasing evidence emerges the young and old alike are concluding they will not be able to look after their loved ones on current state help.
A Carers UK and YouGov poll of British adults carried out in early February and published today revealed that three quarters of the population fear the cost of giving full-time care to a loved one.
The Carers UK Caring and Family Finances inquiry will investigate how caring affects savings and debt, the hidden costs of caring, the financial impact of giving up work or reducing hours to care and the costs of paying for care.
It will also analyse the impact of existing welfare reforms on carers and develop policy on future reform of financial support for carers.
There are over 6.4 million carers in Britain and latest Census figures show an 11 per cent increase in carers over the last decade, driven in part by an ageing population.
But the carer's allowance still remains a minuscule £58.75 a week which the charity says fails to represent the huge responsibilities required by carers, many of whom have to give up their job.
Carers UK chief executive Helena Herklots said: "The financial support for people looking after loved ones currently isn't enough to stop families falling into debt and financial hardship.
"Now, on top of this, families who are already struggling face a blizzard of cuts and changes to the benefits system."
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