Cathy has welcomed the publication of Labour manifestos spelling out the range of pledges that the party is making for older people, people with disability, and carers.
“These constitute a firm commitment to safeguard and expand public services. We introduced national concessionary travel, and we will protect and expand it.
“We will introduce a National Care Service and put an end to the postcode lottery of provision.
“We know how much we owe to the 657,000 unpaid carers in Scotland, and we want to improve the support they get and to enhance the opportunities that are open to them.”
Cathy called for national concessionary travel in the first parliament. It became a manifesto pledge in 2003. Since then she has argued for extensions to the scheme.
As Convener of the Equal Opportunities Committee, she chaired a major Disability Inquiry which made many recommendations for improvements.
She has been Convener of the Cross Party Group on Carers since 2007, working closely with carers organisations to raise carers’ issues in the Scottish Parliament.
Labour’s manifesto for older people includes pledges to:
- Protect the concessionary bus travel scheme for all over 60s and extend to those with mobility challenges and those in remote areas
- End the postcode lottery of care with the creation of a National Care Service
- Establish Scotland first chronic pain centre
- Implement a new boiler scrappage scheme to help older people peoples’ bills
- Introduce a new right to see a cancer specialist and get results within two weeks, halving the current waiting times.
In the manifesto for people with disabilities, Labour pledges to:
- ensure that Scottish Labour’s focus on jobs and training is inclusive and supports opportunities for disabled people;
- support disabled people through the tough economic times;
- ensure a bold shift towards prevention in healthcare;
- deliver better care at the right time;
- improve mobility and access to the concessionary travel scheme for people with disabilities;
Support for carers includes
- support for carers centres;
- measures to prevent carers falling into fuel poverty;
- a guarantee to ensure that the Future Jobs Fund and modern apprenticeship schemes are fully accessible to carers, young carers and those who face the most challenges in accessing the labour market;
- support for young carers, including implementing the young carers strategy, embedding awareness of the needs of young carers in teacher training and in the policies of individual schools, and more flexibility for young carers getting the Educational Maintenance Allowance.