As the Scottish Parliament marks Carers Week 2016, it is important to recognise the essential role that the 759,000 carers across Scotland play in our society.
Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring while highlighting the challenges that carers face, with this year’s focus upon building Carer Friendly Communities.
The SNP’s manifesto for the Holyrood elections last month made several commitments to improving support for carers – building on the Carers Act – including consideration of guaranteed short breaks, specific improvements in services for Young Carers and equalising the Carers Allowance with Jobseeker’s Allowances.
Welcoming Carers Week 2016, Kenneth Gibson said:
“There are thousands of carers throughout Scotland who are often the unsung heroes in our society. Carers Week 2016 aims to remind us all of our duty to ensure they are properly supported.
“In government, the SNP is leading the way in putting carers right at the very centre of our welfare plans, with our commitment to increase Carers Allowance to the same level as Jobseeker’s Allowance a clear statement of intent.
“One of the big challenges is in making sure that carers have adequate time and support to look after their own health and wellbeing too and, importantly, have a life outside of caring. We’ve committed to looking at guaranteed short breaks to make that possible for many more carers in Scotland.
“The contribution that carers make to our society is incalculable. It is appropriate that they’re duly valued and properly supported by communities across Scotland.”