Carers Trust Scotland is pleased that our recommendation to the Smith Commission to devolve all benefits for carers, ill and disabled people has been confirmed.

We know that the Scottish Government is committed to supporting carers, and devolving responsibility for welfare in health and social care policy areas is a sensible and forward-thinking solution that will benefit carers and their families.
 
We also welcome the commitment to extending the vote to 16 and 17 year olds. Young carers feel very passionate about having the right to vote, and as they play a hugely important role in society and are affected by health, social care and welfare policies, it is right that they have an equal say in how society is governed.
 
We are however disappointed that powers of the Scottish Parliament relating to equality and human rights will not be extensively devolved. Carers face significant disadvantage and inequality and their rights are often not respected or realised. Proposed UK changes to human rights legislation may have a detrimental impact upon people in Scotland and we believe further devolution of powers would have protected carers’ rights.
 
Powers to create new benefits in devolved areas is also positive for carers and their families; in our submissions to the Expert Group on Welfare we recommended a different benefit system for carers, with those with the most intensive caring roles able to access a higher rate of Carers Allowance, recognising that caring responsibilities often have a negative financial impact on families.
 
We also welcome the new powers to vary some elements of Universal Credit, particularly the housing elements, which we know has had adverse effects on carers and disabled people in Scotland.
 
We would hope that the Scottish Parliament use these new powers to make a positive impact on carers’ lives as soon as possible.