Consultation: Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Bill: Carer’s Allowance Supplement
LITRG responded to the consultation published by the COVID-19 Committee of the Scottish Parliament on the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Bill.
The legislation covers a number of devolved policy areas. The LITRG response focuses on the provisions in relation to the Carer’s Allowance Supplement. This is a taxable payment designed to top up the UK Carer’s Allowance. While the Department for Work and Pensions continues to pay Carer’s Allowance to Scottish claimants, it is Social Security Scotland, the devolved social security authority, that is responsible for paying Carer’s Allowance Supplement on a twice-yearly basis.
The draft legislation provides for an additional payment of Carer’s Allowance Supplement to be made in June 2020 in the amount of £230.10. This would effectively double the expected Carer’s Allowance Supplement payment that is due to be made in June 2020. The intention is for the additional payment to be made together with the ‘normal’ payment.
LITRG welcomes the proposal, which goes some way to recognising financially the important role carried out by unpaid carers.
The other main point we make is that there needs to be good communications, to ensure recipients understand that the payment is correct (to prevent unnecessary worry) and also to ensure recipients know that the payment, like Carer’s Allowance and normal Carer’s Allowance Supplement is taxable. However, importantly, as with Carer’s Allowance Supplement generally, it is not taken into account when determining entitlement to other benefits.
The consultation is available on the Scottish Parliament’s website.
Our response is available here.