Attendees and apologies
- Ellen Searle, Carer Benefits and Case Transfer Policy Unit, Scottish Government
- Fiona Collie, Carers Scotland
- Paul Traynor, Carers Trust
- Angela Toal, Child Poverty Action Group
- Aoife Deery, Citizens Advice Scotland
- Stephanie Millar, Citizens Advice Scotland
- Roisin Connolly, Connecting Carers
- Eilidh Dickson, Engender
- Anne Baldock, One Parent Families Scotland
- Mike Brown, Social Work Scotland
- Shirley Morris, VOCAL
- Jane Sterry, Scottish Government Carer Benefits Policy
- Lynn Shaw, Scottish Government Carer Benefits Policy
- Freya Gillon, Scottish Government Carer Benefits Policy
- Andrew Strong, Scottish Government Carer Benefits Policy
- Stephen McCabe, Scottish Government Social Security Programme
- Laura Brown, Scottish Government Social Security Programme
- Jonathan Wright, Scottish Government Analysis
- Aimee Burns, Scottish Government Analysis
- Keir Liddle, Scottish Government Analysis
- Brendan Mcginty, Social Security Scotland
- Sharon McGuire, Scottish Government Carer Policy
- Pabby Johnson, Secretariat, Scottish Government Carer Benefits Policy
- Gail Wilson (Social Security Scotland)
- Bill Scott (Inclusion Scotland)
- John Cunningham (COSLA)
Items and actions
Updates paper (Paper CBAG 2022/1) had been circulated in advance. There were no additional updates from members.
Scottish Carer’s Assistance (SCA) consultation content (CBAG Paper 2022/2)
SG officials presented on proposed content for the SCA consultation. The proposals reflected the evidence base built up in preceding years, including Carer Benefits Advisory Group (CBAG) input, the voice of carers through the experience panels, and the results of the Multi Criteria Options Appraisal led by SG analysts.
In response to queries about the Carer’s Additional Person payment (CAPP), officials noted that:
- in line with the Fiscal Framework, CAPP would be excluded from reserved benefits calculations
- discussion is still ongoing with HMRC on whether CAPP will be taxable
- the figure £10 per week for CAPP had been arrived at by taking a range of factors and views into account, including those provided by CBAG, and ministers were of the view that this level would make a difference to carers and be similar to other comparable benefits
- the payment would sit separately from cared for person’s benefits such as Universal Credit, and it would be uprated
- on sufficiency, it was noted that SCA will be an income replacement benefit, not a payment for care, and that SG have increased Carer’s Allowance through the Carer’s Allowance Supplement. Work is progressing more generally on sufficiency through the Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG)
Members noted that clear communications would be vital in respect of CAPP and the longer term proposal to allow carers to add together hours of care to reach the 35 hours caring threshold.
No further comments were made.
SCA consultation engagement (CBAG Paper 2022/3)
SG officials presented to the group on the proposed engagement plan for the SCA consultation. This covered the overall approach and intended outcomes, how equalities would be covered, and planned events. The approach took earlier input from members into account, and in line with this, there would be an Easy Read version available on launch with Braille and different languages versions available on request, and a simple video to accompany the consultation was planned. Also in line with earlier suggestions from the group, engagement tools for use by organisations such as a draft presentation and newsletter content were being produced.
In the subsequent discussion, members highlighted the need to engage with older carers on discussion about the long term carer recognition payment.
In response to questions from members, officials noted that it was planned to launch the consultation in the last week in February.
- officials to share early accessible version of consultation engagement tools with CBAG members for review to ensure they were fit for purpose in advance of events
- officials to make contacts with the Scottish Commission for Learning Disability (SCLD) regarding the Easyread version
- officials to ensure sufficient engagement with older carers on a long term carer recognition payment
Young Carer Grant evaluation follow up
SG officials proposed that a revised Young Carer Working Group be established to guide the action to be taken in response to the findings of the Young Carer Grant evaluation last year. This is likely to include amendments to regulations. Officials requested members who wished to be involved in this work to get in touch.
Members noted that it would be helpful that recommendations from works on Young Carers Grant (YCG) evaluation align with that of Disability and Carers Benefit Expert Advisory Group (DACBEAG).
- officials to include VOCAL, One Parent Families Scotland, Carers Scotland and Carers Trust as members of the new group
- any other members with an interest to contact CBAG secretariat
- officials to ensure that recommendations from works on YCG evaluation links with that of DACBEAG
Members highlighted that carers were experiencing long delays in their Carer’s Allowance claims being processed. Officials responded that they met with DWP earlier to discuss the delays in Carer’s Allowance processing. Officials will share more information with members on processing times and the specific issued raised.
Officials noted that Scottish Ministers had made a commitment to a stand-alone carers strategy. This will cover COVID-19 recovery, and will include a section on social security benefits. It may be useful for group to feed in to this in some way.
- officials to share feedback on processing times from DWP
- officials to consider how best to involve CBAG members in strategy development
|Actions as above
|Officials to take forward the implementation of a working group on inclusive communications – stakeholders from VOCAL, Carers Trust and CBAG confirmed they would like to be involved in any subgroup workings
|Ongoing - Spring 2022
|Officials to invite stakeholders from Inclusion Scotland, One Parent Families Scotland, Social Work Scotland, Oxfam to become core members of CBAG, and to seek islands representation
|Partially completed – by next meeting
|Members invited to share any other thoughts on how meetings are run and how they could be improved outside of the meeting
|Member to make contacts with carer’s management centre for Islands representation
|Ongoing - by next meeting
|Officials to make contact with SCLD
|In advance of consultation
Officials to ensure sufficient engagement with older carers on a long term carer recognition payment
|In advance of consultation events
|Officials to share early accessible versions of consultation engagement tools with CBAG
|In advance of consultation events
|Invitation opened to members to join work on YCG evaluation. VOCAL, One Parent Families Scotland and Carers Scotland have shared their interest
|By next meeting
|Recommendations on YCG evaluations to link with DACBEAG
Officials to share feedback on processing times from DWP
|By next meeting
Officials to consider how best to involve CBAG members in strategy development
|By next meeting
|Actions from previous quarterly meeting (June 2021*)
|Members to get in touch with officials if they would like to be involved in Minimum Income Guarantee work
|Officials also invited members to propose any other useful stakeholders for the group
|Any further thoughts on the Multicriteria Options Appraisal to be shared with officials outside of the meeting (though principally through the formal events)
|Officials will be in touch over next month or so to share SCA event details
|Carers Policy colleagues to share focus group and analysis work from the Carers Awareness Campaign last year
*It was agreed to cancel the autumn quarterly CBAG meeting as there were numerous CBAG workshops October and November on the consultation proposals, and a CBAG equalities event in December.
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