Outrage after carers discover discount card offered for duration of Carers Week is open to council employees all year round
Carers have rounded on Glasgow City Council for offering a “derisory” and “patronising” discount scheme for the duration of Carers Week while council employees benefit from it all year long.
The Carers Privilege Card offers discounts on a range of eateries, shops and leisure facilities around the city but has been slammed for offering paltry discounts for carers who rarely manage to get out.
Glasgow City Council has also been accused of condescending the city’s thousands of carers after it was discovered the card offers them the exact same benefits already available to council employees but for just seven days of the year.
Anas Sarwar, Labour MSP for Glasgow, is promoting the scheme “in recognition of the sacrifice carers make across Glasgow.”
The card is available for use between 6 to 12 June marking Carers Week.
However after posting a short video encouraging carers to use the card on Facebook, the MSP was deluged with criticism.
All employees are offered the discount scheme as part of the local authority's employment package.
Most of the offers amount to a maximum 20% off meals from Monday-Friday with only one restaurant offering the saving over the weekend.
Now in its third year, the card offers carers £10 off a haircut at the upmarket Rainbow Room where the average cut costs upwards of £100.
Much of the ire centres on the Labour council’s standard of care which many feel is below acceptable standard.
Liz Jones said: “Carers don't need patronising in this way. Free pizza to promote carers charities - are you kidding us? Carers demand respect and should be paid by the council for the work they do.”
Lynn Williams, a life-long carer, added: “If we actually gave carers a decent income we wouldn't need this patronising guff.”
Pauline Molloy said carers were fed up with displays of “tokenistic gestures.”
“Time for Glasgow to put its money where its mouth is,” she said. “Time to stop carers being on their knees and being bullied and threatened when asking for help,” she said.
“Another slap in the face for those who yet again won't be able to access it. Giving 20% off is a normal discount you get in a brochure...it is appreciated but ultimately it's a hit a business is willing to take to get more business.”
And Carolan Connolly said: “I'm sorry Anas but right now the only thing I am sacrificing is my sanity having to put up with their appalling, disgusting treatment and attitude to carers and the people we care for.”
In response Sarwar mounted a staunch defence of the scheme, saying it was not a campaign to patronise carers but a way for local businesses and the community to show support.
“It’s not a campaign to patronise carers but a way for local businesses and the community to show support. I agree that carers demand respect and they should get paid for the work they do. But [it is] unfair to attack the companies who are only trying to help.”
A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council said the scheme was still evolving and welcomed feedback into how it can be approved.
“This is just one small way of giving something back to hard pressed carers in the city,” he said. “We have a number of services and seek to improve the way we interact with the care community in the city. We welcome feedback into how we go about this.”