Rhoda Grant MSP, Scottish Labour spokesperson for Equalities, has tabled amendments to the Carers Bill to introduce a national threshold for unpaid carers. This will ensure all carers in crisis, regardless of where they live in Scotland, receive support.

This amendment would prevent a postcode lottery for support and service provision, whilst at the same time allowing local flexibility on what form that support takes.

Rhoda Grant has also tabled amendments on including future planning in Carers Plans and Young Carers Statements to make sure that carers will know where additional support would come from when they could no longer continue their caring role.

She also tabled amendments on bereavement support to be included in the bill. These amendments would ensure that carers are provided with suitable support throughout there caring role.

Speaking ahead of the Stage 3 debate on the Carers Bill this afternoon, Rhoda Grant said:

“During the bill process, it is clear that carers need clarity on what support and services they are entitled to because too often they have to fight to receive any support due to financial pressure in Local Authorities.

I have been working closely with both carers’ organisation and COSLA to try to find solutions. I believe my amendments would solve these problems by creating a threshold for carers at which all Local Authorities must provide support. My other amendments ensure that they know what that support will be going forward.

Whilst I welcome the new rights in this bill for carers, it is vital that carers are able to access them and that Councils have the funding to implement them. We cannot allow local eligibility to be a way by which we ration support. Local authorities have expressed concern over the budget for this Bill and I share their concerns. We need this Bill to be fully funded to ensure that carers get the support need and deserve.”