To ask the First Minister to join me in this, national carers week, in recognising the immense contribution that carers make to the health and wellbeing of our loved ones across the country, and to give an update on the commitment of the Scottish National Party Government to establishing a national care service.
I thank Jenny Minto for that important question during national carers week. I want to highlight and thank unpaid carers for the incredible contribution that they make. We introduced the carer’s allowance supplement to support carers who are in receipt of carer’s allowance. I recognise that it does not apply to every unpaid carer, but the carer’s allowance supplement has helped more than 100,000 carers since 2018.
The pandemic has added to the pressure on carers, which is why we provided an extra payment last year and we, of course, plan to do the same this year. Establishing a national care service to ensure that the social care system consistently delivers high-quality support for carers and those who need care is vital with regard to the update in the first 100 days of this Administration. We will start the consultation on the necessary legislation and establish a social covenant steering group that will include those with lived experience of care services and unpaid carers, to ensure that the new service is designed around their needs.