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Scottish Labour's Highland MSP Rhoda Grant hits out at system that leaves unpaid carers out of pocket as they are not getting the money owed to them

By Scott Maclennan

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Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant.
Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant.

Scottish Labour Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant has called for a “fair deal” for unpaid carers after analysis revealed more than 90 per cent are missing out on the Carers Allowance.

It is estimated that there are currently 1.1 million unpaid carers in Scotland, but only 82,000 receiving the allowance or supplement.

Among the one million unpaid carers who are not receiving either the basic allowance or the supplement, there are almost 39,000 people who meet eligibility requirements but cannot access either benefit due to restrictive rules.

Labour has called on both the UK and Scottish governments to use their powers over social security and in social care disposal to help unpaid carers.

The party has also demanded a strategy to deliver improved support for unpaid carers, along with action to ensure the wider social care system is fit for purpose.

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, said: “The pandemic has left many carers more isolated and receiving less support, and for many, respite has been non-existent.

“Like NHS staff and Care staff, unpaid carers are exhausted and many have had to give up work to care for loved ones as well.

“The Scottish Government must do more to ensure they are receiving the financial support to which they are entitled and to restart the practical support that has been allocated to them and their loved ones.”

Scottish Labour’s Social Security and Social Justice spokesperson Pam Duncan-Glancy added: “They are being let down over and over again by failures at every level of government.

“Both the UK and Scottish Governments need to get a move on to transfer the case load and start making the fundamental reforms that Carers Allowance needs to get money in the pockets of the thousands of carers who desperately need it.

“And the Scottish Government must produce a real strategy to support unpaid carers, setting out how they will use the many levers they have to deliver a fair deal for Scotland’s unpaid carers.”

To read more about carers in the Highlands click here

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