|Would you recognise the work done by carers?
There are more than 600,000 carers in Scotland and the number
is growing rapidly. The SNP appreciates that for many, becoming
a carer involves considerable life-changes; not being able to
work, reduced household income, new barriers to accessing education
and training, and even simple leisure opportunities. So, as
a start to addressing this, the SNP will promote improved flexibility
in education, training, and employment.
It is important that government acknowledges the role of
carers as central to Scotland’s social well being, and
greater priority must be given when considering service provision.
In particular, the availability of respite care is insufficient.
We will examine what reforms and resources are necessary to
improve availability and ensure that the respite care provided
matches the standard and nature required.
Support available to carers also varies from area to area.
Carers often fall between the responsibility of Health Boards
and Local Authorities, and greater strategic planning and
co-operation at all levels is necessary to ensure that service
provision matches need. Similarly advice and information to
carers about the assistance to which they are entitled is
The SNP is committed to income maximisation. Following the
example of the success of Benefit Entitlement Promotion campaigns
in our Local Authorities, we will take steps to ensure that
carers are accessing all the benefits to which they are entitled.
Even with full access to benefit entitlement, however, the
current Westminster benefits arrangements cannot lift many
carers out of poverty. With Independence, we would have the
power to tackle this shortcoming through our comprehensive
review of tax and benefits.
We will implement these policies because we recognise that
carers are central to Scotland’s social well being.
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