Thursday 1st February 2024

(2 months, 1 week ago)

Read Hansard Text
The petition of residents of the constituency of Linlithgow and East Falkirk,
Declares that unpaid carers continue to face significant financial challenges in this cost of living crisis; further that carers, including those in receipt of Carers Allowance, are extremely vulnerable to high costs due to their limited ability to earn an income and because of additional caring costs that they face; and notes that recent research from Carers UK found that thousands of unpaid carers are being forced into poverty, with many cutting back on essentials including food and heating.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to consider how the benefits system could better support unpaid carers of both working and state pension age, and to review Carers Allowance eligibility, so that carers can live a life beyond their unpaid caring responsibilities and continue to care safely as well.
And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Martyn Day, Official Report, 5 December 2023; Vol. 742, c. 315.]
Observations from the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work (Mims Davies):
The Scottish Parliament already has considerable devolved powers to provide support for unpaid carers, including specifically through carer’s allowance.
Financial support is also available through reserved means-tested benefits, where unpaid carers can receive an additional £2,200 per year in universal credit, pension credit, and other legacy benefits. Unpaid carers in these circumstances are also receiving additional financial support to meet higher costs of living.