Last Wednesday in the Scottish Parliament, 20 out of 21 Labour MSPs voted against an SNP Government motion to increase Carer’s Allowance by 2.4%. They were defeated by 93 votes to 20. Had they succeeded, they would have denied carers across Scotland an additional £452.40 this coming year.
Through the Carer’s Allowance Supplement, the SNP Government last year increased financial support for Scotland’s 77,620 carers by 13% to the level of Jobseekers Allowance. This provided carers with an extra £221 in September and a further £221 in December last year.
As the SNP Government further uprates the supplement and Carer’s Allowance, for the first time carers in Scotland will get a higher level of support than is provided by Jobseeker's Allowance, which is administered by Westminster. That means carers in Scotland will receive £452.40 extra next year; £226.20 in June and the same again in December. That is what Labour voted against.
There are 2,528 carers in North Ayrshire.
Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP said:
“I am shocked that Labour voted against an increase in financial support for carers.
“The draft Carer’s Allowance Up-rating (Scotland) Order 2019 raises the weekly rate of Carers Allowance by 2.4%.
“The SNP Government welcomes the immense contribution carers make to Scottish society by caring for family, friends and neighbours. That is why I hoped that all MSPs would show their support for carers by voting for the Order, ensuring that Carer's Allowance is uprated.
“In the event, all but one Labour MSP voted to let carers down and opposed an increase in the financial support we provide to carers. That is on their conscience and it will be for them to answer for.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“Labour in Scotland long ago became a party devoid of any sense of direction, let alone the ability to govern. That 20 of their MSPs voted against this rise is frankly shameful and shows how lost and confused they have become. Their sole instinct seems to be knee-jerk opposition to whatever the SNP Government takes forward. Carers simply represent collateral damage. Labour MSPs should be ashamed of themselves.”