In North Ayrshire 2,528 carers and 73,923 across Scotland have received the SNP Government’s new Carer’s Allowance Supplement.Carers are getting an additional payment of £442 this financial year, in two payments of £221, equivalent of an extra £8.50 per week and an increase of 13% on the current Carer’s Allowance.
Speaking on a visit to South West Glasgow Carers Centre, Social Security Secretary Shirley–Anne Somerville MSP said:
“It was inspiring to meet the carers from Glasgow South West Carers Centre and hear their own personal stories and experiences. Carers make a vital contribution to society, which this payment recognises, putting an extra £442 in their pockets this financial year. When we take over the devolution of Carer's Allowance, we will continue this increased rate which will also rise annually in line with inflation.
“This investment of over £30m a year addresses the unfairness that Carer’s Allowance is the lowest of the working age benefits. Bringing it into line with Jobseeker’s Allowance was one of the first commitments we made in light of our new social security powers.”
Collette McAlpine (32), a user of the Glasgow South West Carers Centre, commented:
“I’m a full time carer, for both my husband and son, who is 14. My son has Aspergers, and after my husband had an accident five years ago, I needed to stop working to care for them both full time. The extra money will ease the financial burden and provide a real cash boost for our family.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“What carers across North Ayrshire and Scotland do must never be underestimated. It is one thing to recognise their hard work, day in day out; providing adequate financial assistance is much more important.
“The SNP Government’s attitude and actions towards carers and in other matters of a social support nature could not be more different from the UK Government’s.
“As long as we are part of the UK, it is an uphill battle to stop the Tory Government from pushing 80,000 more children in Scotland into poverty with their grotesque ‘welfare reforms’ – especially when Labour MPs are quite happy to sit on their hands instead of joining the SNP in voting against these brutal cuts.
“Thankfully, our SNP Government is using new social security powers to provide increased financial support for people on low incomes, including the £300 per annum Young Carer Grant, the first payments of which are due to be made in 2019.
“Anyone, through illness, accident or circumstance can find themselves either having to care for someone or being cared for. There but for the grace of God….
“Carers also save the state from having to undertake a much bigger role in caring, saving taxpayers an estimated £10.8 billion each year. It is therefore only right that carers receive as much financial support as jobseekers and I am glad we have chosen to do the right thing.”
The next payment of the supplement will be made in December.
For further information, visit https://www.mygov.scot/carers-allowance-supplement/.