Benefit top-up will make ‘a real difference’ to north-east carers

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A benefit top-up to carers will make “a real difference” to the 6,000 people who have received it, a senior politician has said.

The Scottish Government introduced the carer’s allowance supplement last September, meaning those in receipt of it get an extra £221 on top of their cash from the UK Government’s Department of Work and Pensions.

Figures show 1,545 Aberdeen residents have been given a total of £341,000 of the new benefit and 2,025 Aberdeenshire residents got £448,000.

Some 1,455 Angus residents have received £321,000 and 975 Moray residents received £215,000.

The Scottish Government said carers will get two annual payments, each of £221.

Kevin Stewart

Aberdeen Central SNP MSP Kevin Stewart said: “We all know the sacrifices made by those who care for someone – the commitment can be rewarding, but often extremely challenging.

“The Scottish Government’s plan has ensured carers are given that extra support and has delivered an additional £221 directly into the pockets of carers here in Aberdeen.

“Make no mistake, this will make a real difference to the lives of folk across Aberdeen and I am proud the SNP Scottish Government has used the limited power it has over social security to support carers across Scotland and Aberdeen.”

David Forbes, Future Choices

David Forbes, chairman of the Future Choices charity based in Garthdee, which helps carers, said the new benefit was a nice gesture from Holyrood.

“We’re living at a time when carers often feel undervalued, so this is a nice touch to show them their dedication is very much valued,” said Mr Forbes.

He added: “Carers typically receive £70 to £100 from the DWP – but that rarely rises and a rise in the cost of food and fuel can really impact homes, so receiving an extra £221 is a huge boost.

“Of course we’ll like it to be higher, or paid more often, but it’s a tremendous support for 6,000 families in the north-east.

“It is really resonating with carers who feel like someone is listening to them and providing extra support in challenging times.”