Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson has welcomed the publication of the new Carers Bill.

The Bill launched by Jamie Hepburn MSP will entitle all adult carers to their own support plan and all young carers to a young carer statement, setting out the help and support each carer is entitled to. The Bill will also lead to the establishment of local carer advice and information centres and mandate all councils to publish local carer strategies.

The Scottish Government has always made carers a priority – investing around £114m in programmes to support carers since coming to office.

Commenting, Mr Matheson said:

“The contribution carers make to their families, communities and to society as a whole is invaluable and we owe them all a huge debt of thanks – and it is only right that we do everything we possibly can to give them the support they need and deserve.

“Nicola Sturgeon’s first meeting as First Minister was with carers, demonstrating that carers will always be a top priority for the SNP in government, and I know from my previous job as Public Health Minister her personal commitment to carers. And the publication of the Carers Bill is another important step forward building on the progress and investment of recent years.

“The measures contained in the Bill will help give carers the support they deserve and enshrine carers’ rights in law for the first time, moves welcomed by carers groups across Scotland.

“While we will never be able to do enough to fully recognise the role carers play in our communities, the publication of this bill represents real progress and will represent a real boost for carers and their loved ones.”