MSPs double Carer's Allowance Supplement to recognise role played by unpaid carers in Scotland
In a vote last night at the Scottish Parliament, MSPs (Members of the Scottish Parliament) have unanimously approved a double payment of the supplement to Carer's Allowance in Scotland.
This means that in December all unpaid carers in Scotland that get Carer’s Allowance will receive a double payment (total £462.80) of the supplement they receive every six months. The additional payment of more than £230 will benefit 91,000 unpaid family carers in Scotland.
During the pandemic, unpaid carers right across the UK worked more than ever to provide essential support for family members and friends. Many worked even longer hours than before, taking on extra tasks because of the closure of local services. Family carers also faced the higher costs of looking after people forced to stay at home to contain the spread of the virus.
Carers Trust was therefore delighted to see the Scottish Government recognise the role played by carers during the pandemic. Announcing the doubling of the Carer’s Allowance Supplement, Scotland’s Social Security Minister, Ben Macpherson, said the additional payment was “in recognition of the role carers play in society” and “the additional pressures [on them] caused by the pandemic”.
Carers Trust Scotland has been instrumental in advocating for the additional financial support for unpaid carers in Scotland. It is a member of the Carer Benefits Advisory Group, a body set up to advise Scottish Ministers on developing policy for social security benefits for carers in Scotland.
Welcoming last night’s announcement to double the winter Carer’s Allowance Supplement in Scotland, Head of External Affairs at Carers Trust Scotland, Paul Traynor, said:
“There is significant evidence that unpaid caring impacts upon physical and mental health and this has been exacerbated by COVID-19, resulting in many unpaid carers having to significantly increase the hours of care they provide.
“This additional payment of Carer’s Allowance Supplement, which will provide additional financial support, has the potential to reduce some financial pressure and goes some way in continuing to recognise the immense contribution of unpaid carers in Scotland.”
Following the boost in support for family carers in Scotland, Carers Trust is calling for a similar uplift in support for unpaid family carers across the UK.