Friday, 22 April 2011

Stevenson Welcomes Launch Of SNP's Carers' Manifesto

CARERS are Scotland’s unsung heroes. They generously and selflessly give their time to help others, usually without reward and sometimes without recognition. Thousands of vulnerable people simply could not do without them.
"click" above to read manifesto

It’s not an easy task. Looking after someone, particularly if they’re a member of your own family, is often a 24 hour a day commitment. It can be challenging, tiring – gruelling, even.

Carers may provide invaluable assistance, but they often need support themselves. Over the last four years, the SNP government has recognised this. We’ve provided more respite care, a short breaks fund and increased help for kinship carers.

Now we want to do more. We see backing unpaid carers as a priority. They fulfill an essential role in society, providing love, sympathy and affection as well as solid, practical help.

Carers take pressure off our public services. They are important partners for the NHS, and we want to fully recognise that.

Scotland’s carers provide vital support, and we owe it to them to recognise and support the wonderful work they do. We want to get the laws and the guidance right and to make sure they have the help and the backing they need through good times and bad. Without the love and help of carers, the lives of tens of thousands of Scots would be so much more difficult. They can be assured that if re-elected, we will see them as a priority group and do everything we can to give them our support.
We welcome the commitment made to ensure that words and policy are translated into action on the ground. We need to move from talk to action - action which really improves the lives of Scotland's 657,000 unpaid carers and 100,000 young carers. This will be the test for Scotland's carers as they decide who to vote for in this election.

Florence Burke, Director for Scotland of The Princess Royal Trust for Carers
A re-elected SNP government will:
  • Set up a unique Carer’s Parliament – something which will provide a powerful direct voice and help with access to MSPs and Scottish government ministers
  • Guarantee that £14 million from our social care Change Fund is used to support unpaid carers
  • Work to secure proper recognition for kinship carers within the UK’s benefits and support system
  • Continue funding 10,000 weeks of respite provision for the next five years
  • Provide another £2 million to pay for short breaks for families with severely disabled children, taking the total to £6 million
  • Ensure young carers are better served by their schools and given easier access to the Education Maintenance Allowance
  • Help with increased costs by extending the Energy Assistance package
  • Reward employers who offer support and flexibility to carers with a special Kitemark
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