By Lucy Ashton
Almost £10 million has been “blown” by the SNP government on civil servants working on their plans for a centralised care service, the Scottish Conservatives can reveal today.
The news comes in the same week that the deadline for debating stage one of the bill was ‘quietly extended’ to 31 January 2024, instead of being met by the end of this month.
The party’s shadow social care minister Craig Hoy has received responses to questions he tabled to SNP social care minister Maree Todd, who confirmed that over £9.65 million has been spent so far, despite overwhelming opposition to the plans.
Maree Todd also confirmed to Craig Hoy that 170 civil servants are now working on the plans, compared to just 67 in June last year.
First Minister Humza Yousaf and shadow social care minister Craig Hoy.
Craig Hoy says it is time for the SNP to “finally accept reality” and ditch their “illogical” proposals to centralise care services in Scotland, which are already completely overstretched on their watch.
He re-iterated his calls for Humza Yousaf to divert the money earmarked towards cash-strapped local councils, who are far better placed to deliver on people’s care needs in their communities.
Craig Hoy MSP, said: “The SNP need to stop squandering taxpayers cash and finally accept reality.
“They are continuing to blow millions on plans to centralise care services across Scotland despite overwhelming opposition to the plans from nearly every stakeholder.
“It is only Humza Yousaf and other arrogant SNP minsters who believe these illogical plans are still a good idea. They didn’t even have the decency to publicise yet another delay to bringing forward a debate on them which was quietly nodded through Parliament this week.
“With that debate being kicked into the long grass for another seven months, it is completely reckless of SNP ministers to continue to plough ahead and typically act like they know best.
“The number of civil servants working on the SNP’s latest centralisation of a vital public service in Scotland has almost tripled.
“Social care services are already buckling on the SNP’s watch and this is the last thing they need.
“Humza Yousaf needs to wake up and divert the money earmarked for this towards our cash-strapped local councils instead, who are far better placed to deliver on local people’s care needs than out-of-touch SNP ministers.”
- The motion was voted in Parliament on Wednesday: https://www.parliament.scot/chamber-and-committees/official-report/search-what-was-said-in-parliament/meeting-of-parliament-07-06-2023?meeting=15356&iob=130981