Borders carers are missing out

Claudia Beamish Labour South of Scotland MSP
Claudia Beamish Labour South of Scotland MSP

More than 1,000 Borderers’ carers are missing out on extra payments because the Scottish Government has failed to put carer’s allowances on a par with jobseekers’ allowance.

Since September last year, the Holyrood Government has had increased devolved powers regarding welfare payments allowing it to top up whichever welfare benefits it wants, including carer’s allowance.

However, Claudia Beamish, a south of Scotland Labour list MSP, has accused the SNP Government of dragging its feet on making a decision about which benefits to top up.

Ms Beamish adds that there is cross-party support in the Scottish Parliament for carer’s allowance, currently £62.10 a week, to be brought up to the same level as jobseeker’s allowance – £73.10 a week.

Claudia, co-convener of the cross-party group in the Scottish Parliament for carers, said: “Carers are the unsung heroes of our country.

“Thousands of people dedicate their lives to caring for others and save the Government, particularly our NHS and social care system, billions of pounds because of their selfless care and attention.

“Carers in the Borders claiming the allowance would be £250 better off if the SNP had delivered at the first opportunity.

“There is cross-party support for this policy. No party in the Scottish Parliament would have stood in the way of the SNP had they delivered it when they had the chance.

“Recently-published analysis of the responses to the Scottish Government consultation on social security still does not make it clear how the devolved benefits system will support the most vulnerable in our society.

“It’s time for the SNP to move beyond warm words and actually keep their promises.”

The Scotland Act 2016 devolves carer’s allowance to Scotland, and in a document published in November 2015 the Scottish Government made a commitment to increase carers allowance to £73.10 a week.

“When this government gets the power to do so, we will begin to increase carer’s allowance so that it is paid at the same level as jobseeker’s allowance, which would give carers about £600 more a year,” it said.

the Scottish Government.