‘Stand Up For Unpaid Carers in the Scottish Parliament to Deliver Better Support’ Campaign Response

The SNP values and is deeply grateful for the hard work and commitment of all carers. Supporting unpaid carers has been a priority for the SNP both before and during the pandemic.

The SNP are in regular contact with carer representatives to make sure we understand carers’ concerns and can act accordingly.

The local voluntary organisation, West Lothian Carers, has been invaluable in the advice and support they provide, and I keep in regular contact with them. They were one of the first organisations in Scotland to introduce Young Carers support services, which have now expanded across Scotland – inspired by the powerful work here in West Lothian.

If re-elected, the SNP will create a National Care Service, scrapping non-residential care charges and introducing a National Wage for carers. The SNP has also pledged to double the Carers Allowance Supplement.

The SNP has a proud record of delivering progressive policies in Government to take Scotland forward and build a fairer society. We established rights for all carers to support and advice under the Carers Act.

The SNP have continued to support local implementation of those rights, backed by additional investment which now stands at £39.5 million per year. This is particularly important now, when many carers are under additional pressure. The Scottish budget for 2021-22 therefore includes a further uplift of £28.5 million for Carers Act implementation.

Early in the pandemic, the Scottish Government established a £500,000 fund to help local carer organisations transition to remote working so that they can continue to provide advice and emotional support, such as telephone counselling and online sessions. Furthermore, Scotland was the first nation in the UK to extend the provision of PPE to unpaid carers.

The Scottish Government made a one-off Coronavirus Carer’s Allowance Supplement payment of £230 to those eligible for Carer’s Allowance Supplement in April 2020 which meant around 83,000 carers in Scotland, on some of the lowest incomes, and with some of the most intensive caring roles, received up to £690 more this financial year than equivalent carers south of the border.

Fiona Hyslop