Carer Support Payment: fairer Scotland duty assessment - summary

The Fairer Scotland duty impact assessment summarises potential impacts of the Carer’s Assistance (Carer Support Payment) (Scotland) Regulations 2023 on socio-economic inequality. It builds on, and should be read alongside the equality impact assessment.

Summary of evidence – consultation

Carer Support Payment and this Fairer Scotland Duty assessment have been developed drawing on a range of primary and secondary research, including public consultations[12], and engagement with those with lived experience, as well as ongoing consultation with stakeholders, including through our independent Carer Benefits Advisory Group (CBAG), and taking into account feedback from the independent Disability and Carer Benefits Expert Advisory Group[13].

Between 28 February 2022 and 23 May 2022, the Scottish Government undertook a public consultation on its proposals for the delivery of Carer Support Payment, using the benefit’s working title ‘Scottish Carer’s Assistance’. The consultation received around 200 responses from individuals and stakeholder organisations. A full list of those consulted and who agreed to the release of this information is attached to the consultation report published on the Scottish Government website[14]. A summary of these responses can be found in the independent analysis of the consultation response also published on the Scottish Government website[15]. The Scottish Government published a response to the public consultation on 27 March 2023[16].

Carer Support Payment policy and this assessment also drew upon interviews conducted with the Social Security Experience Panels. The Panels involve people with lived experience of the benefits being devolved and have over 2,400 members drawn from people across Scotland. In 2019, a further round of recruitment took place, targeting specific groups identified as being underrepresented such as ethnic minorities and young people. Specific research to explore panel members’ views on proposals on how the replacement benefit could be different from Carer’s Allowance took place from March to July 2022. It involved a survey completed by 242 Panel members and follow-up interviews with 16 participants, and a summary of these responses was published.[17]

Panel members and participants in the public consultation were broadly supportive of the policy proposals and our approach to Carer Support Payment at launch.

Additionally, we have held a number of meetings with the Carer Benefits Advisory Group, which is made up of a number of key stakeholders with an interest in the policy area, including Carers Scotland, Carers Trust, VOCAL, Child Poverty Action Group, Citizens Advice Scotland, Engender and a number of other groups. The development of Carer Support Payment was considered at six meetings of the Group. Policy for Carer Support Payment and this assessment have also been informed by the evaluations of our existing carer benefits – Carer’s Allowance Supplement and Young Carer Grant, which involved external contractors carrying out interviews with clients and organisations on their experiences of the benefits.

Policy for the transfer of benefits from Carer’s Allowance to Carer Support Payment for those carers has also been informed by case transfer research with Experience Panels. Two surveys regarding the case transfer process were sent out to Experience Panel members in January and February 2019. 404 and 559 responses were received, respectively. A series of individual and group interviews were also conducted. Results from both surveys and the interviews were published in 2019[18].

Initial findings from this assessment and wider impact assessments for Carer Support Payment were considered at the 2022 Carer Benefits Advisory Group annual equalities event. This event included representatives from Citizens Advice Scotland, COSLA, Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), VOCAL, Carers Scotland, Marie Curie, Engender, One Parent Families Scotland (OPFS), Family Fund, Support in Mind Scotland, and Social Work Scotland. Feedback from those who took part in the session has informed the development of this impact assessment.



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