Devastation as carers set to lose £3000 a year

Carer cropped

​Tory-driven welfare changes will see hundreds of Scots carers worse off

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22nd June 2015 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

Brutal benefits cuts could leave hundreds of Scots carers £3000 a year worse off.

At least 450 are set to be hit because of Tory-driven changes to the UK’s benefit system – and the number could even be higher.

The shock figures were revealed in an answer to a parliamentary question submitted by Christina McKelvie MSP .

A written answer revealed that around 450 people in Scotland who receive carers allowance will lose out by more than £3000 a year as a result of the switch from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence payments (PIP).

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations said this could have “devastating” consequences – and called for welfare powers to be devolved to Holyrood.

This will have a devastating impact on carers and their families right across the country who are already struggling

A spokesperson said: “This news will have a devastating impact on carers and their families right across the country who are already struggling simply to get by from one day to the next.

“With vital social care services disappearing or families being priced out of existing services, the only option for thousands of people is to give up work to care for their loved ones.

“They must be supported to do so and the huge effort they put into looking after the most vulnerable people in our communities should be praised.

“That’s why we would like to see welfare powers devolved to the Scottish Parliament so we have a change to implement our own, more compassionate system which supports people instead of punishing them.”

McKelvie, an SNP MSP, said: “This parliamentary answer which finds 450 carers stand to lose £3000 a year is deeply worrying.

“Carers play such a vital role in looking after loved ones – we owe them a massive debt of gratitude.”

The parliamentary answer said the estimate of 450 people losing out was based on a Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) impact assessment from 2013 – and stated that since then, no clear figures have been released, clouding the true picture of how many could be affected.

McKelvie said: “The UK government must come clean on the number of carers in Scotland that will lose out as a result of the roll out of PIP. Scotland’s carers can’t afford Tory cuts to their support.

“We need full powers over social security in Scotland to allow us to protect, support and empower people who need help, rather than pushing them into poverty with punitive cuts and sanctions, as the Tories are doing.”