Supporting Scotland’s carers

16 June 2017

This week is Carers Week. They are the unsung heroes of our country.

There are at least 759,000 carers aged 16 and over in Scotland and 49,000 young carers. The value of care provided by carers in Scotland is more than £10 billion every year.

At some point of our life, three-out-of-five of us will become carers. Here’s how Labour would change Scotland to support carers.

Increase Carer’s Allowance

Carer’s Allowance is the payment made to carers to help them with additional expenses.

Holyrood has the powers to increase Carer’s Allowance and Labour would increase it by £11 a week – or nearly £600 a year.

Get more carers claiming Carer’s Allowance

The last official figures showed that more than 50,000 carers who were entitled to Carer’s Allowance weren’t claiming it.

That’s £170 million that could be going to carers, but isn’t. Maybe they don’t know they are entitled to it, or are put off by the process of applying.

Labour will push for a legal duty on Scotland’s new social security agency to ensure everyone gets what they are entitled to.

Labour MSPs got the Scottish Parliament to agree to this plan last year – and we’ll push the SNP government every step of the way towards creating the new agency.

Stop the cuts to public services

The SNP government has taken Tory austerity and passed it on to Scotland’s communities.

Local council budgets have been slashed – with more than £1.5 billion slashed from local government budgets since 2011.

That means increased pressure on services like respite care and support at school for young carers.

Only Labour is making the case to use Holyrood’s new tax powers to stop the cuts to public services and invest instead.

Like our plan? Then help spread our message.