‘Support Unite’s Care’ Campaign Response

The SNP and I value and are deeply grateful for the hard work and commitment of all carers. Supporting care workers has been a priority for the SNP both before and during the pandemic.

If re-elected, the SNP will create a National Care Service. The SNP will also introduce a National Wage for carers, to ensure that the value of the wages of our social care workforce better reflects the value of the work they do.

The SNP has a proud record of delivering progressive policies in Government to take Scotland forward and build a fairer society.

Since October 2016, the SNP Scottish Government has provided funding to enable adult social care workers to be paid the real living wage for waking hours. During 2018/19, this was extended to include those undertaking overnight social care support.

This financial year the SNP Scottish Government provided additional funding of £8.8 million to Integration Authorities to deliver the real living wage commitment to ensure at least £9.30 per hour for social care staff.

In line with the findings of the Fair Work Convention’s report into Social Care in 2019, work is already underway to embed fair work principles for Scotland’s social care workforce, including proposals that will lead to better terms and conditions and more rewarding roles for the social care workforce.

The Scottish Government have also invested around £50 million over the life of this Parliament to support the regulation and development of the social services workforce through the Scottish Social Services Council.

Early in the pandemic, the SNP 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, the SNP 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.

Fiona Hyslop