26 February 2019

Scottish Labour will this week force a vote in Holyrood to ensure Carer’s Allowance is uprated with the cost of living.

The party will use Labour debating time at Holyrood to seek a commitment from the SNP government to uprate Carer’s Allowance and the Carer’s Allowance Supplement by the Retail Price Index (RPI) rather than the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

One of the first major cuts to social security by the Tory-Lib Dem coalition government was to switch the uprating of payments from CPI to RPI.

The SNP has followed the Tories’ lead and lodged proposals to uprate the Carer’s Allowance by CPI rather than RPI, which could create a precedent for other social security payments produced by the Scottish government.

Both CPI and RPI measure inflation. Each aim to measure the changes in the cost of buying a 'basket' of products, but they cover different items and differences in formulae used to calculate the inflation rate mean that CPI is often lower than RPI. As one of its first welfare cuts, the UK Tory government choose to move from uprating by RPI to CPI.

Analysis confirmed by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) shows that uprating by RPI would cost £2.8m in 2019-20, with 82,000 carer’s £33 per year better off.

Scottish Labour Social Security spokesperson Mark Griffin said:

“The powers delivered to the Scottish Parliament gives Scotland the chance to do things differently on social security – but, as it stands, the SNP are no better than the Tories when it comes to payments keeping pace with the cost of living.

“For years the SNP has said it will deliver a social security system based on dignity and respect but they’ve flunked it and have failed to reverse the Tory’s pernicious change to CPI.

“Day-in, day-out, carers work tirelessly to care for their loved ones but, since 2010, they have lost out on thousands because of the Tories' switch to CPI.

“We should not let this moment pass by. We have powers to take a different path, to show that social security is an investment in the people of Scotland. Now is the time to set the precedent and re-adopt RPI in Scotland’s social security system.”



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