Scotland’s political parties are vying for the votes of carers by presenting manifestos targeted at them.
The Scottish Labour party today launched “Fighting for Scotland’s Carers”, its manifesto for the 650,000-plus carers of all ages in Scotland.
The central pledge within the document is that a Scottish Labour government would have a carers champion within its cabinet, whose job it would be to ensure the needs of carers were co-ordinated across government and considered in policy decisions.
Scottish Labour has also promised to increase extra respite care by 5,000 more weeks than currently provided and the establishment of a “carers’ summit” to shape the delivery of the National Care Service.
Johann Lamont, Scottish Labour deputy leader, said: “Carers are often praised for their efforts in supporting their loved ones, but Scottish Labour believes it is essential that such recognition of their contribution is matched by support.”
The Liberal Democrats are also courting carers’ votes in Scotland, with Nick Clegg’s special adviser Norman Lamb MP, meeting a group of unpaid carers tomorrow to discuss pledges made within “A Caring Nation Action Plan”, part of the LibDem manifesto for the Scottish Election.
LibDem pledges include expanding the rights of unpaid carers, improving local services and the portability of assessments between local authorities.
The party has also pledged to develop support for young carers in schools, alongside ensuring that health boards take account of carers’ needs during hospital discharge processes.
The Scottish National Party also launched a mini manifesto on carers, pledging the establishment of a carers’ parliament to give a more direct voice to carers. The SNP promised to ring-fence the Change Fund, which looks to improve services for older people and their carers.
The Scottish elections will be held on 5 May.
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