Holyrood considers doubling allowance for unpaid carers

Committee is considering increasing the £231.40 paid twice a year to those who provide support to family or friends.

Holyrood considers doubling allowance for unpaid carers iStock
The committee is seeking views on a Carer’s Allowance Supplement (Scotland) Bill.

Holyrood will consider whether to double the Carer’s Allowance Supplement given to unpaid carers at the end of the year.

The Parliament’s Social Justice and Social Security Committee is considering increasing the £231.40 paid twice a year to unpaid carers by doubling it when it is awarded in December.

The committee is seeking views on a Carer’s Allowance Supplement (Scotland) Bill that would give the Scottish Government the power to increase the payments in future.

Committee convener Neil Gray said it is looking at ways to ease the economic harm caused by the pandemic that has affected many of the 83,000 carers who currently receive the supplement.

Appealing for feedback from carers and other support groups about the proposal, Gray said: “The devastation caused by Covid has been felt throughout our towns and communities.

“It has been hard for people in so many ways, and it is important that those most affected are recognised and offered the support they need.

“This Bill wants to address some of the extra burden unpaid carers have taken on by increasing the level of the Carer’s Support Allowance. But what impact would this have on those facing unimaginable hardship as a result of Covid?

“We want to hear from those working closely with carers about what this will mean in practice and whether the additional payment is the most appropriate way to support unpaid carers.

“We also want to learn whether people think the Scottish Government should have more flexibility to change this payment in the future.”

There are estimated to be around 690,000 unpaid carers across Scotland, although the Government says about 83,000 are eligible for the allowance.