Florence Burke, Director of Carers Trust Scotland, said:

“We welcome the publication of ‘Scotland’s Future’ and a few of the proposals outlined will benefit some of the 657,000 unpaid carers in Scotland.

“Specifically we were encouraged to see that the bedroom tax would be abolished with immediate effect. The bedroom tax places increased financial and personal strain on some of the most vulnerable families in our communities and penalises some of those who care for a family member. Carers will also be pleased to learn the Scottish Government will maintain their commitment to free personal care, free prescriptions and concessionary travel.

“However, we were surprised and disappointed not to find reference to carers at any point in the document. Carers play a crucial role in our society and save the Scottish economy around £10.4 billion a year. We expected that this role would, in some way, be acknowledged in the publication.

“In recent years, we have worked closely with the Scottish Government to ensure carers have a voice and that they receive improved support and services. Scotland has a strategy for carers and young carers and a wide scale consultation will be taking place next year. We know that there is a will from the Scottish Government to listen to and respond to Scotland’s carers – so why was there no mention of them in ‘Scotland’s Future’?

"To enable carers to make an informed decision in the referendum we will be calling on both sides of the independence debate to clearly outline their vision for Scotland's future, what the impact on carers and those they care for will be and how they plan to ensure that unpaid carers are recognised and valued.”