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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-12394

  • Asked by: Monica Lennon, MSP for Central Scotland, Scottish Labour
  • Date lodged: 23 November 2022
  • Current status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 30 November 2022


To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to comments made by the General Secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress regarding the forthcoming National Care Service Bill that reforms "could end up costing an awful lot of money for the Scottish Government at a time when that money could be better used to deal with a system that is in crisis in a much more immediate way".


The establishment of a National Care Service (NCS) is the most ambitious reform of public services since the creation of the National Health Service (NHS). It is necessary to deliver the consistency and quality of care and support across Scotland that people deserve, and reinforce our commitment to Scotland’s people to take long term action to change our society and make it a fairer place to live.

The Financial Memorandum set out the range of possible costs for the NCS. Estimates are being constantly monitored and reviewed as new information becomes available.

We recognise that there is an urgent need to make improvements to social care now, and we are not waiting for the NCS to start that process.

We are taking the action we can now to address challenges in social care. We have committed to increase spend in social care by 25% by the end of parliament, helping to lay the groundwork for the NCS.

Our 2022-23 budget confirmed more than £1.6bn for social care and integration to lay the groundwork for the NCS. Any spending decisions made on the NCS service will be backed by rigorous, evidence based decisions.

In April this year the minimum hourly rate for those providing direct adult social care increased to £10.50 an hour.

The Scottish Government transferred £200 million to Local Government to support investment in social care, including to deliver this uplift.

This represents an increase of 4.8% from the £10.02 pay rate that was introduced in December 2021. This is also an increase of 10.5% for these workers in the course of a year – with pay rising from at least £9.50 per hour in April 2021 to at least £10.50 per hour in April 2022.