Labour calls for cost of living rises for Carer’s Allowance

Labour has called on the Scottish Government to increase carer’s allowance by the Retail Price Index (RPI) measure of inflation.

The party will use an opposition debate in the Scottish Parliament this week to urge the Government to commit to uprating the Carer’s Allowance and the Carer’s Allowance Supplement by RPI rather than the the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Labour said the former measure would give more money to those caring for loved ones.

Both CPI and RPI measure inflation and measure the changes in cost in buying a notional basket of products, with CPI not including home costs such as mortgage payments, rents and council tax.

Scottish Parliament Information Centre analysis indicates that for 2019/20 uprating the pay £74.85 weekly payments by RPI rather than CPI would give 82,000 claimants an extra £33.36 a year.

The UK Government switched uprating of payments from RPI to CPI in 2011.

Scottish Labour social security spokesman Mark Griffin said: “The powers delivered to the Scottish Parliament gives Scotland the chance to do things differently on social security but, as it stands, the SNP are no better than the Tories when it comes to payments keeping pace with the cost of living.

“For years the SNP has said it will deliver a social security system based on dignity and respect but they’ve flunked it and have failed to reverse the Tory’s pernicious change to CPI.

“Day-in, day-out, carers work tirelessly to care for their loved ones but, since 2010, they have lost out on thousands because of the Tories’ switch to CPI.

“We should not let this moment pass by. We have powers to take a different path, to show that social security is an investment in the people of Scotland.

“Now is the time to set the precedent and re-adopt RPI in Scotland’s social security system.”

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