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CARERS are to benefit from a one-off payment as a thank-you for the work they are doing during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Scottish Government is ploughing £19million into providing further support to carers across the country during the Covid-19 crisis.

A total of 2,680 eligible carers across Renfrewshire and almost 1,000 in East Renfrewshire will get an extra £230 through a special one-off Coronavirus Carer’s Allowance Supplement next month.

The cash will be paid automatically to those who already qualify for Carer’s Allowance.

Renfrewshire South MSP Tom Arthur, whose constituency stretches from Johnstone to Barrhead, said the area’s carers “make an absolutely vital contribution to society.”

He added: “This one-off payment will benefit carers who are on low incomes and already have some of the most intense caring roles, providing at least 35 hours of unpaid care weekly to a disabled child or adult in receipt of higher level disability benefits.

“It will be an acknowledgement to carers that we know they are providing vital support to family, friends and neighbours and playing an absolutely crucial role in our collective efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus.”

Research carried out for the Carers Scotland charity suggests eight out of 10 unpaid carers in the local area are having to shell out more money to put food on the table and meet their bills during the pandemic.

And Oxfam Scotland said many carers were already trapped in poverty before the current crisis increased the financial strain.

A spokesperson added: “They are telling us that they’re facing rising bills for things like food and other essentials. Carers have been undervalued for too long and, while this extra payment is a welcome step, we must properly value the work of all carers now and for good.”

Read all the latest from Renfrewshire and beyond