Creating adequate support for unpaid carers in Scotland

Section: Policy into PracticeType: News Item Date Published: 13th August 2021
Social Security

The ALLIANCE has submitted evidence on the Carer’s Allowance Supplement (Scotland) Bill.

The ALLIANCE has submitted evidence to inform the Scottish Parliament Social Justice and Social Security Committee inquiry on the Carer’s Allowance Supplement (Scotland) Bill. The ALLIANCE welcomes the Bill’s sole purpose, to double the December payment of Carer’s Allowance Supplement, which recognises the additional financial pressures that unpaid carers have faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unpaid carers have experienced a range of challenges during the pandemic, including financial pressure. For instance, a Carers UK survey in October 2020 reported that 36% of carers in receipt of Carer’s Allowance are struggling to make ends meet (this link will take you away from our website). The increased payment is therefore a welcome development. However, our response also outlines several additional recommendations. These include:

  • Making a permanent increase to future payments of Carer’s Allowance Supplement and Scottish Carer’s Assistance.
  • Further, non-financial support should be pursued in addition to the welcome increase in the Carers Allowance Supplement payment, including: collaborative working between the Scottish Government and carer services to create a national remobilisation plan; better communication by commissioning bodies to make sure their asks of carers services are realistic; transparency on how local authorities spend Carers Act funding; for continued support for workforce development to protect the wellbeing of staff in carer services; improvements in the implementation of the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016; and the remobilisation of social care day services.
  • As Scottish Carer’s Assistance is developed it is important – in keeping with a human rights based approach – that its level is adequate in amount and duration to enable unpaid carers to an adequate and dignified standard of living, and to allow them to fully realise their other human rights. This should be determined in co-production with unpaid carers.
  • Changes should be made to the eligibility criteria for Scottish Carer’s Assistance compared with the current rules for Carer’s Allowance to expand entitlement to more of Scotland’s unpaid carers.

You can read our full response via the link below.

Read more about the Carer’s Allowance Supplement (Scotland) Bill (this link will take you away from our website).

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