Providing financial support for young carers is a clear priority

Scottish Green MSPs, pushing for anti-poverty measures in the Scottish budget, today (28 Dec) published polling showing overwhelming support for their policy of a Young Carer's Allowance.

Earlier this year the First Minister announced that the Green manifesto proposal would be explored by the Scottish Government.

It is estimated that there are around 800,000 carers in Scotland - between 44,000 and 100,000 of them under the age of 18 - providing care to one or more people.

Polling shows 82.8 per cent of Scots support the introduction of a young carer’s allowance; 2.3 per cent oppose; 11.9 per cent neither support nor oppose; and 3 per cent don’t know.

A number of studies have found that most young carers struggle financially, as many live with a disabled adult who is less likely to be working and as they use their own time and money to provide care for their relative.

Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:

"Young carers are often in dire financial situations as a result of their commitment to caring for relatives. For example, any income they might have through the Education Maintenance Allowance may be cut if they need to miss school due to their caring responsibilities.  

"Three years ago the Scottish Government rejected the idea of a Young Carer's Allowance but earlier this year the First Minister highlighted the Green manifesto proposal as one worth pursuing. It's clearly a policy that has widespread public support and would address the unfairness that young carers don't get the financial support that older carers do.

"Greens want to see greater measures in the Scottish budget to tackle poverty and reduce inequality in our communities. Providing financial support for young carers is a clear priority for us. I urge Scottish Ministers to commit to this policy in time for the coming financial year."



Survation polled 1,006 Scots between 1 and 6 December. Download the full results here.