Martin Whitfield MSP has backed a colleague’s call for a parliamentary debate on carers rights and support ahead of this year’s Carers Right Day on Thursday 24th November.
Paul O’Kane MSP has tabled a motion on Carers Rights Day welcoming the enormous contribution made by carers, highlighting the additional pressures unpaid carers have faced over the last couple of years and the results of Carers Scotland’s State of Caring in Scotland 2022 survey.
Among the survey’s key findings were that 40% of respondents on carers allowance are cutting back on food and heating in order to make ends meet this winter. The motion also calls for carers to be listened to and their concerns taken seriously and acted upon by the Scottish and UK governments.
Commenting on his support for the motion and Carers Rights Day, Martin Whitfield MSP said:
“Many unpaid carers were struggling even before COVID and the impact of rapidly rising living costs. The additional pressures they are now facing means that many have reached crisis point, as the results of Carers Scotland’s survey have identified.
“Carers do make an immense contribution to their loved ones, their communities and the whole of our society, but too often this either goes unnoticed or is simply not supported in the way it should be.
“I’m pleased to have added my support to Paul’s motion for a debate on carers rights and hope it will provide another opportunity to put the concerns and needs of carers at the forefront of the parliament’s agenda.”
Mr O’Kane’s full motion reads as follows:
That the Parliament recognises that Carers Rights Day 2022 takes place on 24 November 2022; understands that Carers Rights Day is about raising the awareness of the rights that carers have, but also of what carers still lack in rights and representation; notes the view that amplifying the voice of carers has become even more vital; believes that they have been demonstrably impacted by particular pressures, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the rise in the cost of living; notes the view that, as the cost of living crisis continues, carers must be listened to and their concerns taken seriously and acted upon by the Scottish and UK governments; notes that the State of Caring in Scotland 2022 survey, conducted by Carers Scotland, found that 40% of carers on carers allowance are cutting back on food and heat to make ends meet; celebrates what it sees as the immense contribution that carers make, firstly to their own families and loved ones, who they take care of and support, but also to their wider communities, and believes that their efforts, in turn, prevent added pressures being put onto health and social care services.