Scottish Government launch consultation on extra financial support for young carers

Ministers are seeking views on plans to give young carers extra financial support when new welfare powers are devolved to Holyrood.

The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on the introduction of a Young Carer’s Allowance.

Individual carers and advisory groups are among those being invited to have their say on whether such an allowance “could help people who would have previously lost out on financial support”.

Only 250 people in Scotland under the age of 18 currently receive a carer’s allowance, under UK Government guidelines, the Scottish Government said.

It said it will also look at what non-financial support is currently available, and identify whether there are any gaps.

The announcement comes two days after Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman and Social Security Secretary Angela Constance launched a wider consultation on how benefits being devolved to Scotland should be delivered.

Ministers have already committed to increasing carer’s allowance to the same level as jobseeker’s allowance, an increase it puts at almost 18%.

Ms Freeman, speaking ahead of a visit to the Young Carers Festival in West Linton this week, 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.”

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