Angela Crawley MP this week called on the UK Government to do more to support the valuable work of young carers.
The local MP, who herself is a former carer, made the call during her contribution in a Westminster Hall debate on Tuesday, February 12th.
Ms Crawley also highlighted the work of the Lanarkshire Carers Centre and the South Lanarkshire Carers Centre in her speech, outlining their tireless support for young carers in across Lanark and Hamilton East.
The Scottish Government have recently invested £122 million in a programme for support for carers.
As a result, carer’s allowance is pegged at the same level as jobseeker’s allowance and was backdated to April 2018.
From this autumn, the Scottish Government will also introduce a young carer’s grant, worth £300 per year, which will be granted to 16 to 18-year-olds who have at least 16 hours of caring responsibility per week.
Voluntary carers are estimated to save the Scottish economy around £10.3 billion per year which is equivalent to the entire Government allocation to the National Health Service.
During the debate, Angela said:
“As a former young carer, this issue is close to my heart and I think it is of paramount importance that we debate this issue.
“Carers not only perform a vital role for the people they look after, but they also ease the strain on our public service, and address some of the constraints of an already tightening budget.
“Many young carers find it difficult to balance their caring responsibilities with their education and social life. It can negatively impact their health and the financial difficulties can impact their stress levels.
“It is vital that young carers are supported, so that they can not only continue to care, but have a life and childhood of their own and not feel different from their non-caring peers.
“The Minister must recognise the important role of young carers play in society, and do more to support them financially.