Scotland’s carers will be visiting their local MPs on Friday 4th December to highlight carer poverty and the inadequacy of the Carer’s Allowance as part of national Carers Rights Day.
There are 600, 000 adult and young carers in Scotland saving the Scottish Government an estimated £7.68 billion a year. Yet, taking on a caring role can have a devastating effect on carers’ finances. The current Carer’s Allowance, at only £53.10 a week and lower than all other benefits, is often barely enough to cover bills. In addition, many carers find it too difficult to claim even this small amount they deserve because the system is unnecessarily confusing.
The Princess Royal Trust for Carers is supporting Carers Rights Day. Its network of Carers’ Centres in Scotland is working in partnership with the Coalition of Carers in Scotland to organise events up and down the country to raise awareness of the financial difficulties faced by carers and to campaign for the recognition of the contribution they make every day.
Earlier this year the Public Accounts Committee found that carers find it hard to claim the benefits they deserve because payments are unnecessarily complex. The Public Accounts Committee found that about one in five carers who get benefits find it difficult to make the claims because the system is too confusing.
In addition, the value of the service that unpaid carers provide to society is not reflected in the quality of the Department of Work and Pensions' (DWP) arrangements for providing them with financial and other support.
A House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee report last year recommended that, “carers’ benefits should be radically overhauled at the earliest opportunity to recognise the contribution carers make and to be more flexible to reflect carers’ different circumstances”.
For more information on the campaign, please contact Lynn Williams, Policy Officer at The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, on 0141 221 5066 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTES TO EDITORS:
The Princess Royal Trust for Carers is the largest provider of comprehensive carers support services in the UK. Through its unique network of independently managed Carers’ Centres and interactive websites – www.carers.org and www.youngcarers.net – The Trust currently provides quality information, advice and support services to carers of all ages and backgrounds.
There are 29 Carers’ Centres throughout Scotland, delivering services in almost all local authority areas from Orkney to the Borders.
The Coalition of Carers in Scotland was established in 1998 and represents more than 80 local carer organisations in all local authority areas, including many remote rural and island communities. Through its members, the coalition reaches and informs more than 60,000 carers in Scotland.