The Scottish Government have launched a public consultation, ahead of the Young Carer’s Festival to be held in West Linton this week, into the possibility of introducing a new ‘Young Carer’s Allowance’.
As part of a wider consultation on Social Security (ends 28 October 2016), carer advisory groups, carers, and others, have been invited to have their say on whether a Young Carer’s Allowance would help those who have previously lost out on financial support.
The Scottish Government will also examine the types of non-financial support currently available to young carers, in the hope of filling any support gaps it may find.
It has also been confirmed that Carer’s Allowance will be increased to the same level as Jobseeker’s Allowance, an increase of 18%. Tough UK Government eligibility criteria means only 250 young people under the age of 18 currently receive Carer’s Allowance in Scotland.
Minister for Social Security Jeane Freeman, who will be attending the carer’s festival, said: “I am delighted we are now making good on our promise of consulting on giving young carers extra financial support.
“It is unfair that some young people who have the responsibility and pressure of caring for a loved one may experience financial difficulties. That is why we will now consider whether a Young Carer’s Allowance could bridge that gap in support.
“We have already made our commitment that carers will be £600 better off a year when we raise Carer’s Allowance to the same level as Jobseeker’s Allowance, but we also need to make sure that young carers do not lose out.
“The new devolved powers might only give us responsibility for 15% of the total social security spend from the UK Government, but we are determined to make a real difference to people’s lives with the responsibilities we do have.
“And the principles of treating people with dignity and respect will be at the heart of all we do.”
The Young Carer’s Festival, which is organised by Carers Trust Scotland and funded by the Scottish Government, runs from Tuesday 2nd – Thursday 4th August at the Broomlee Outdoor Centre in West Linton, southern Scotland.