MSP David Stewart is asking Highlands and Islands carers for their views after Labour launched a major discussion paper and consultation aimed at maximising the incomes of Scotland’s carers.
With the new carers’ allowance supplement starting to be paid into bank accounts, the Party is inviting carers to set out how best Holyrood can use its new powers over the allowance to bolster the support offered alongside the benefit.
Across Highlands and Islands carers receive the benefit, which now is worth the same Jobseeker’s Allowance each week after the Scottish Parliament unanimously agreed to increase its value.
The consultation seeks the opinions of carers on a number of suggestions aimed at increasing support for carers and their families, including maximising incomes and reducing council tax bills.
Other ideas include removing current limitations on other earnings or time spent in education, both of which can currently make someone ineligible for receiving carer’s allowance.
“Carers deserve every support for the valuable care and love they give every day to their relatives and friends,” said Mr Stewart.
“With the carer’s allowance supplement finally starting to pay out, that payment must be the start of the new support, not the end.
“Now is the time to think about the overall package of support provided alongside entitlement to carer’s allowance covering work, study, and across public services.
“That is why Scottish Labour has launched this major consultation to ensure their voices are heard.
“I want the thousands of carers across the Highlands and Islands to have a voice in what kind of support they want and need.
“Scottish Labour has already secured valuable extra support for carers in Scotland – and we stand ready to continue the fight on their behalf.”
The discussion paper can be seen here: https://scottishlabour.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Recognising-Carers-Carers-Allowance-Discussion-Paper.pdf
Carers can respond to the discussion paper survey at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/FJ7QB3S