carer

Natalie Don MSP has welcomed a Scottish Government announcement that 2,715 unpaid carers across Renfrewshire will have their Carer’s Allowance Supplement doubled in December.

carer

The MSP for Renfrewshire North and West hailed the increase of the supplement to £462.80 for unpaid carers, which follows the Carer’s Allowance Supplement (Scotland) Bill passing its third and final stage in the Scottish Parliament today.

The Carer’s Allowance Supplement is paid twice a year to carers who live in Scotland and receive Carer’s Allowance, paid by the Department for Work and Pensions, on specified qualifying dates. The qualifying date for the December 2021 double payment is 11 October 2021.

Natalie Don MSP said: “Unpaid carers across Renfrewshire have experienced an incredibly difficult time during the COVID-19 pandemic and, without their heroic efforts, our services would have been under greater strain.

“I’m pleased to see the SNP Government doubling the Carer’s Allowance Supplement in recognition of the vital contribution that dedicated carers are making in our communities, as they begin to face increased pressures on their incomes due to rising energy and food prices.

“While the out-of-touch UK Tory Government cuts Universal Credit at a time when those on the lowest incomes need it most, the Scottish Government is building a social security system in Scotland based on dignity, fairness and respect.

“The people of Renfrewshire and throughout Scotland must have the choice of a different path in a referendum for recovery to give us the chance to escape the callous decisions made on welfare at Westminster and gain full powers over social security so we can protect those who need supported most.”

To be eligible for Carer’s Allowance and the Carer’s Allowance Supplement, a carer must be providing 35 hours or more of care per week, and earn only up to £128 a week, after deductions, through paid work.

The person the carer looks after must be in receipt of one or more of the following disability benefits: Personal Independence Payment (daily living component), Disability Living Allowance (middle or highest care rate), Attendance Allowance, constant Attendance Allowance (at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit), Constant Attendance Allowance (at the basic full day rate with a War Disablement Pension) or an Armed Forces Independence Payment.

Natalie Don MSP RAH

Natalie Don MSP is welcoming a review of parking places for Maternity Unit patients at the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH), after raising deep concerns about the uphill challenges currently facing mothers-to-be.

Natalie Don MSP RAH

The MSP for Renfrewshire North and West asked NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to consider the unacceptable situation of pregnant women presently being expected to walk up a big hill in the hospital’s main car park due to parking provision not being secured for patients immediately outside the maternity wards.

In the health board’s response, the MSP was advised that the limited parking bays at the Maternity Unit, with the exception of two spaces allocated for disabled motorists, will be reviewed and re-provided for maternity patients, where possible, at the earliest opportunity. 

Natalie Don MSP said, “I am thankful that the health board took heed of my concerns and will re-allocate spaces to allow pregnant women to access the parking facilities at the maternity unit.

“It is simply unacceptable that women who are attending antenatal appointments or going into labour, currently have no access to parking facilities at the unit, especially at a time when, due to COVID-19 restrictions, many women are expected to attend appointments on their own.

“Although I appreciate the offer of sincere apologies for the difficulties and distress experienced by my constituents trying to access parking close to the RAH Maternity Unit, this does still remain a problem for women in Renfrewshire accessing the hospital via public transport or foot. I will therefore continue to seek further solutions to this for all women, in the future. 

“No woman should be forced to walk up this hill to access maternity services while they are pregnant.”

CAB Worried about bills and money

Natalie Don MSP is backing the new ‘Our Advice Adds Up’ campaign encouraging local residents to contact Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau to get advice to maximise their incomes and cut their bills.

CAB Worried about bills and money

The MSP for Renfrewshire North and West is supporting the campaign after being by informed that more than 1.4 million people in Scotland have run out money before payday in the last year.

Natalie Don MSP said: “It is truly heart-breaking to discover that so many people across Scotland are struggling to put food on their tables ahead of their work, pensions or benefits payday.

“With food and energy prices already rising, and the latest figures showing 15,476 people in Renfrewshire are claiming Universal Credit, thousands of hard-pressed local families will be devastated by the cut to the £20 UC uplift, and I dread to think about how they will cope during the winter months as they are driven much deeper into poverty.

“I’m pleased to support the ‘Our Advice Adds Up’ campaign and encourage people in Renfrewshire who are experiencing financial pressures to obtain vital advice from Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau about how to maximise their incomes and cut their bills.”

Gavin Lovesey, Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau’s Service Development Manager, said: “We welcome this support for the campaign. With the National Insurance contributions increase, rising inflation and rapidly rising energy prices, going into this winter will be challenging particularly for those on low incomes.

“As furlough ends, many more people may find themselves living solely on benefits. We urge anyone who is struggling with money, or worried about how they’ll cope with these challenges, to get in touch with us to ensure they’re receiving everything they’re entitled to, getting help to manage any debt, and reducing spend where possible.”

Get in touch with Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau on telephone: 0141 889 2121 or via the contact details on www.renfrewshirecab.org.uk

In 2020/21, Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau provided advice to help 3,564 local people to gain a cumulative total of £2.4million.