Carers’ Act funding ‘not being spent’ by some councils, say charities

Written by Tom Freeman on 12 March 2019 in News

Local authorities inconsistent in allocating funding for carers under new duties from the Carers Act 2016, according to new figures

Carer - Pixabay

Funding behind new laws to give family carers more support has not been used in full by some councils, charities have said.

Freedom of Information requests by the Coalition of Carers, Shared Care Scotland and the Coalition of Care Providers, and reported by the BBC show at least £5.4m of the funding had not yet been spent, despite the new law placing a duty on local authorities to provide support to carers.

Two councils, Orkney and Moray, had yet to allocate any of the funding they had been provided to support carers.

The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 gave every carer the right to an personalised support plan.

Speaking to the BBC, Claire Cairns from Coalition of Carers in Scotland, said: "When the act was brought to parliament, the minister said, 'this is to provide support on a more consistent basis.' That was the phrase he used, and I think that's one thing the Carers Act hasn't achieved," she said.

"Some areas haven't fully committed the funding they received from the Scottish government and actually spent it on carer support."

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We've provided £17.4m to local authorities to fully fund the implementation of the Carers Act. Along with integration authorities they are responsible for how they deliver support to carers in keeping with the legislation.

“While this may lead to some variation in the nature of the service delivered by each local authority to reflect their local circumstances, we have been clear in our expectation that the resources we have provided should support carers.”

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