Scottish Government
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Scotland’s Future: stronger support for carers

Deputy First Minister to meet carers.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today met carers from across the country at a gathering in Glasgow to discuss how an independent Scotland could deliver stronger support.

Ms Sturgeon set out the progress made by the Scottish Government in improving carers’ rights and listen to views on how to further improve the support and services available. She also explained how independence will give Scotland the full range of powers it needs to genuinely transform the landscape for carers and their families.

Ms Sturgeon said:

“Carers play such a vital role in our families, our communities and our society – and they must be properly supported. I want to hear about the things that matter to carers and the issues they face day in day out.

“I’m proud of the work we’ve done to improve support for carers and to recognise the invaluable contribution they make to society. But there is more that we can do and the full powers of independence would allow us to go much further to improve the situation for carers and for those they care for.

“With full control over the economy and our tax and benefits system we could end unfair policies like the bedroom tax, which has affected many carers, and instead create a welfare system that values social justice and fairness. The rights of carers and cared for people would be protected. We would create an economy where people are able to strike the right balance between paid work and caring for their loved ones."

The Scottish Government has invested over £112 million in supporting carers and their families since 2007. A consultation has just been completed ahead of new legislation to improve carers’ rights and provide further support.

Ms Sturgeon continued:

“Many of the carers I meet experience real challenges in their day-to-day lives. They sometimes feel the system is working against them, and that’s something that we want to change.

“Within existing devolved powers we have taken significant steps - legislation like the Self-directed Support Act which has now commenced, and our planned Carers Bill; initiatives like the Short Breaks Fund and our new Caring for Carers Employers Kitemark.

“In September we have the opportunity to build a better country underlining our commitment to fairness and using the full powers of independence to provide carers with the support they need and deserve.”

Notes To Editors

Measures introduced by the Scottish Government to improve the lives of carers and those they care for include:

  • The Social Care (Self-directed Support) Act, allowing carers to be supported in their own right at the discretion of local authorities.
  • Integration of health and social care, providing a more joined up system which will be easier for carers to negotiate.
  • £14 million invested in the Short Breaks Fund from 2007 to 2015, benefiting more than 25,000 carers.
  • Planned introduction of the Caring for Carers Employers Kitemark, to recognise employers who give the support and flexibility which carers need.
  • The establishment of an annual Carers Parliament, where carers can raise issues and build networks.
  • The Children and Young People Act, giving each child with a wellbeing need a Child’s Plan to clearly set out their needs, and a named person to help parent-carers to navigate the system.
  • The establishment of a Scottish Independent Living Fund, with an extra £5.5 million funding to help people live independent lives.
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