Carer's Allowance Supplement (Scotland) Bill

Closes 12 Aug 2021

Opened 2 Jul 2021

Overview

The Social Justice and Social Security Committee is considering the Carer's Allowance Supplement (Scotland) Bill.

Why was the Bill created

The COVID-19 outbreak has had a serious impact on unpaid carers in Scotland. Last year the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020 provided a 'double payment' of Carer’s Allowance Supplement in June 2020. This covered the period from 1 April to 30 September 2020.

This Bill was created to allow another 'double payment' in December 2021.

Separately from this Bill, the Scottish Government plans to introduce a new benefit called Scottish Carer's Assistance. This future benefit would support carers and replace Carer's Allowance and this supplement.

The Committee wishes to get views on the Bill.

Background

There are three devolved social security benefits for carers:

Carer's Allowance is due to be replaced in the next few years by Scottish Carer’s Assistance. Further consultation is expected on this change in the future.

Before the COVID-19 outbreak there were an estimated 690,000 unpaid carers. According to Carers Scotland, this may have risen by around 400,000 at the height of the pandemic. However, there are only around 83,000 recipients of Carer’s Allowance. The Scottish Government recognises this supplement is not available to all unpaid carers, but considers that Carer’s Allowance targets those with 'more intensive caring role and lower financial resilience'.

The value of the supplement is based on increasing Carer’s Allowance to the level of Job Seekers Allowance plus inflation.

The Scottish Government outlines alternative approaches in paragraphs 18 to 22 of the Policy Memorandum.

What are the key questions?

  1. What are your views on the increased payment of the Carer's Allowance Supplement?
     
  2. Do you agree with increasing the December payment of Carer’s Allowance Supplement?
     
  3. Do you have any views on the Bill’s Financial Memorandum?
     
  4. Do you consider the increased payment the best way to support unpaid carers with the challenges faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?
     
  5. What level of parliamentary scrutiny do you think there should be for any future increases to the amount of Carer’s Allowance Supplement?
     
  6. Do you have any other views on the Bill?

It is not necessary to answer all questions.

How to submit your views

Please submit your views using the online submission form, linked to below.

We welcome written views in English, Gaelic, Scots or any other language. 

The call for views closes on 12 August 2021.

Interests

  • Social Security