The SNP recognise the incredible contribution Scotland’s carers make to our communities, as well as the pressures many carers are under.
The Scottish Government recently launched a new Scottish benefit to be piloted in three areas to support unpaid carers.
Unpaid carers play a vital role in looking after their loved ones, but the Scottish Government know this can affect their own health and wellbeing. Carer Support Payment will provide unpaid carers with income in recognition of their caring role, giving them more security and helping them access opportunities outside of caring.
The Scottish Government are investing £88.4m per year in local carer support through local authority Carers Act funding.
The Scottish Government provided £8m for voluntary sector short breaks in 2022-23, an increase of £5m, and are maintaining funding at £8m this year, enabling more people to take a break from caring.
The Scottish government are providing £560,000 in 2023-24 for local carer centres to expand their invaluable support to carers, including young carers.
The Scottish Government are legislating to establish a right to breaks from caring through the National Care Service Bill, to support people to protect their wellbeing and sustain caring relationships.
By the end of this year, carers continuously in receipt of Carer's Allowance Supplement, which is only available in Scotland, will have received over £3,300 above Carer’s Allowance since the Supplement’s introduction.
The Scottish Government’s Young Carer Grant is unique to Scotland. It supports young carers with a payment of £359 to help them access life opportunities that are the norm for many other young people.
The Scottish Government’s Carer Positive initiative is working to improve awareness and flexibility of unpaid carers in the workplace and there are now more than 490,000 employees working in 250 Carer Positive organisations across Scotland.
The current high levels of inflation are disproportionately hurting the most vulnerable in society – the SNP in Westminster have consistently called for the UK Government to provide additional support to people with the cost-of-living crisis, but the Chancellor has failed to deploy the full range of powers available to him to make a real difference to people’s lives.
In a Westminster Hall debate, my SNP colleague, Marion Fellows MP, said to the UK Government Minister, “we have to grasp every opportunity possible to help disabled households, carers and families who are struggling on a daily basis with the cost of living” and asked, “Will they listen to disabled people and their carers and do better?”
My SNP colleague, Drew Hendry MP, tabled an Early Day Motion for Carers Rights Day, to recognise the valuable contribution unpaid carers make every day, the EDM was supported by several SNP MPs.