June 11, 2018 Blog

Recognising Carers Discussion Paper

Carers Week gives my Scottish Labour colleagues and me the chance to pay thanks to you, and 800,000 fellow carers, for the monumental support you provide every day of the year.

Out of love, you dedicate your lives to caring for friends and relatives, all year round. You are the unsung heroes of our country and do not get nearly enough recognition
for the massive unpaid contribution you make to society. You save the government, particularly our NHS and social care system, billions of pounds because of the selfless care and attention you provide. Thank you.

In the year that the Carers Act is implemented and the devolution of Carer’s Allowance is secured in the Social Security Act, I am pleased to publish Scottish Labour’s discussion paper on the development of carer’s assistance, which will replace the allowance.

When the Social Security Bill passed through Parliament, I secured guarantees to update both carer’s assistance and the supplement, so that the value of both are protected from inflation – and the Tory benefit freeze. Later this summer you will start to receive the first payments of the supplement; agreed unanimously by all parties in the Scottish Parliament it will go some way to help recognise the unpaid work you do. That payment must be the start of the new support we provide to recognise that unpaid work you do, not the end.

I want Scotland’s carers to have a transparent, collaborative role in the design of Scottish Labour’s carer’s assistance policy, so that your wishes are reflected both in our work in the years ahead and while we scrutinise the new devolved system in Parliament.

This paper outlines a number of areas Scottish Labour is considering to improve carer’s assistance and to ensure more carers can access the support they rightly deserve.

Covering the relationship between Carer’s Allowance and work, study, incomes and other public services, these ideas are, at the moment, just that. This summer I would like to hear your feedback on the propositions in this paper, as well as your own ideas, before moving on to fuller policy development; so please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Mark Griffin MSP
Scottish Labour Social Security Spokesperson