Local SNP MSP Tom Arthur has reiterated his ongoing support for carers on Carers Rights Day, 21 November.
Each year Carers Scotland and Carers UK holds Carers Rights Day to bring organisations across the UK together to help carers in their local community know their rights and find out how to get the help and support they are entitled to.
Every year 160,000 people in Scotland become carers, something few have been able to plan for. New figures released today show two thirds of adults in Scotland can expect to care unpaid for a loved one in their lifetime.
This Carers Rights Day, centred on the theme of “helping you find your way”, Tom Arthur MSP has hailed Carers Scotland’s ongoing work to help carers in Renfrewshire South and across Scotland.
Whether they are struggling to navigate a maze of health and social services, negotiating with their employers on how to juggle work with caring, or finding they need extra support to cope with the pressures of caring, the organisation aims to empower carers to access assistance that will benefit them.
Today at FMQs, Renfrewshire South’s MSP asked First Minister Nicola Sturgeon how the Scottish Government is recognising this year’s Carers Rights Day.
In her response, the First Minister highlighted action taken by the Scottish Government to support Scotland’s nearly 800,000 carers, including 44,000 who are under the age of 18, to feel empowered and ensure they are treated with the dignity, fairness and respect they deserve.
“I would like to take the opportunity to say a personal thank you to everybody who undertakes caring responsibilities across our country. We can never repay them in full but we have an obligation to make sure that we provide them with the help and support they need.
“We are focussing on embedding carers rights under the Carers Act and developing a national marketing campaign to raise awareness of rights. We continue to fund the Carer Positive Employer accreditation scheme. There are over 400,000 people across Scotland now working for organisations committed to helping staff who are juggling work and caring responsibilities.
“We are also consulting on our Carers Strategic Policy Statement, which maps out how these and other policies contribute to improving the way carers are listened to and supported. Finally, I am proud that Scotland is, so far, the first place in the UK where young carers are able to get financial support through our Young Carer Grant – a £300 annual payment for carers aged 16-18 which opened last month.”
Tom Arthur MSP has also welcomed news announced today that the majority of carers are to receive their next payment of Carer’s Allowance Supplement before Christmas.
This supplement, paid twice a year by Social Security Scotland, is in its second year and payments have already been made to over 91,000 carers in Scotland.
Earlier this year, Mr Arthur, who is Co-Convener of the Cross-Party Group on Carers, hosted the “Celebrating Carers in Scotland” event at the Scottish Parliament, marking the 25th Anniversary of Carers Week and representing an opportunity to recognise the incomparable contribution of Scotland’s carers.
Commenting, Tom Arthur MSP, who is also an advocate of the Carer Positive Employer initiative and currently holds Established status, said:
“Carers Rights Day is an opportunity for us all to recognise the importance of carers across the country for the huge contribution they to our society.
“No matter their caring circumstances, it’s important that carers are aware of their rights and are able to access the support available as soon as it is needed.
“We are lucky to have a strong local network supporting carers in our community through both Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire Carers Centres, but there is still more to be done to ensure all carers in Renfrewshire South are valued and properly supported.
“Once again, I would encourage employers across Renfrewshire South to sign up to the Carer Positive Employer initiative.”
Simon Hodgson, Director of Carers Scotland added:
“As well as raising awareness about some of the challenges carers face, Carers Rights Day is when we publish our updated “Looking after someone” guide to help carers in Scotland navigate the system. It is available from https://www.carersuk.org/scotland.“
- Image attached: Tom Arthur MSP supports Carers Rights Day
- Research launched by Carers Scotland and Carers UK on Carers Rights day – Will I Care report.
- The Carer’s Allowance Supplement is two automatic payments totalling £452.40 this year. It was introduced by the Scottish Government because Carers Allowance was the lowest paid benefit by the UK Government. The additional payment means it is now above the level of Jobseekers Allowance. This year, the Scottish Government is investing over £320 million in Carer’s Allowance and Carer’s Allowance supplement.