First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a range of social security measures a re-elected SNP Government will introduce, including the doubling of the Carers Allowance Supplement for this year, worth £460, in recognition of the extra burden the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on carers.
A newly elected SNP Government will also launch an improved Carers Assistance payment to replace Carers Allowance. This will pay a further £10 per week to those who are caring for more than one disabled person, and increase the period of paying the benefit when a carer loses someone they have cared for from 8 weeks to 12 weeks.
An SNP Government will also:
Replace the current UK winter fuel payment with a Winter Heating Payment for older people - maintaining current rates and not means-testing it - helping around one million households, backed by around £180 million a year.
Introduce a new, more reliable annual £50 Winter Heating Payment to 400,000 low-income households currently eligible for Cold Weather Payments.
This follows prior SNP pledges to double the Scottish Child Payment; providing every pupil with their own laptop or device and an internet connection if required; extending free bus travel to everyone under 22; and action to increase community empowerment and ensure more wealth stays in local communities.
Kenneth Gibson said:
“Unpaid carers go above and beyond every day and the SNP will always recognise this.
"After passing the Carers (Scotland) Act in 2016, launching the Adult Carer Support Plan, the Young Carer Statement, the Carers Allowance and more, the SNP is keen to provide that extra support during the pandemic through a double payment.
“The fact that 7 out of the 10 benefits we run in Scotland are not available elsewhere in the UK - including under Labour in Wales - shows that only the SNP wants to maximise its powers to make a real difference to families across North Ayrshire and Scotland.
“The only way to secure a government committed to leading Scotland through the pandemic, building a fairer Scotland, and supporting all of our citizens through the recovery, is by putting both votes in the trusted hands of the SNP on 06 May.”