Plans for an additional payment for some unpaid carers are being considered by the Scottish Parliament’s Social Justice & Social Security Committee.

Under the Carer’s Allowance Supplement (Scotland) Bill, a new bill before the Parliament, the carer’s allowance supplement (CAS), a twice yearly payment of £231.40, would double for the payment due in December 2021, covering the period from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. The bill will also give the Scottish Government power to increase the allowance in the future.

According to the Scottish Government, this change will help ease some of the economic harm which has affected the estimated 83,000 carers who currently receive the allowance.

CAS is targeted at those who have an intensive caring role and lower financial resistance. Although there are estimated to be around 690,000 unpaid carers, only an estimated 83,000 carers are eligible for the allowance.

The committee would like to hear from carers support groups and others about whether this change will have the impact it is hoped.

Committee convener Neil Gray MSP said: "This bill wants to address some of the extra burden unpaid carers have taken on by increasing the level of the carer’s support allowance. But what impact would this have on those facing unimaginable hardship as a result of COVID?

"We want to hear from those working closely with carers about what this will mean in practice and whether the additional payment is the most appropriate way to support unpaid carers. We also want to learn whether people think the Scottish Government should have more flexibility to change this payment in the future."

Click here to access the consultation. The deadline for responses is 12 August 2021.