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by Kirsteen Paterson
11 May 2023
Scrap 'shambolic' National Care Service, Humza Yousaf is told

Humza Yousaf with members of his frontbench team at First Minister's Questions

Scrap 'shambolic' National Care Service, Humza Yousaf is told

Humza Yousaf was today challenged to reveal how much a National Care Service will cost as Douglas Ross blasted his "shambolic" plan.

The National Care Service Bill has been paused by the Scottish Government as concerns about costs continue.

Earlier this week ministers declined to provide updated estimates on the matter to the Scottish Parliament's finance committee.

Social care minister Maree Todd said the pause on the bill provides "an opportunity to get a bit more detail", saying it has been hard for her to get her "head around" in her new portfolio.

At First Minister's Questions today, Tory leader Douglas Ross called on Yousaf to abandon the National Care Service plan, saying: "First Minister, she's talking about your plans because before Humza Yousaf failed upwards he was not just the health secretary, he was cabinet secretary for social care - he wrote the shambolic plans. So what does it see about the first minister's policy?"

Around £12.3m was spent on the care service plan in the last financial year. Audit Scotland has said the service will cost "significantly more" than the £1.3bn stated at the last assessment.

Ross accused the first minister of "throwing public money away when frontline social care services are in desperate need of more funding", saying: "The SNP could be investing to improve these local services. Instead, they're creating a bureaucratic nightmare and want a blank cheque to do it."

Yousaf said a revised financial memorandum will be produced following extensive engagement over the summer.

He said Brexit had caused "extreme challenges" for the sector, adding: "Once again the Scottish Government is having to mitigate the woeful decisions made by a cruel Tory government."

He went on: "We have committed to invest in social care right now to undo some of the damage done by the Conservatives' hard Brexit and at the same time we are absolutely committed to our plans for a national care service that will ensure fair work is at the very heart of any future care service."

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