Providers being pushed ‘closer to the edge’

Dr Donald Macaskill, chief executive, Scottish Care

The Scottish government’s Budget commitments to social care will only push the sector closer to the edge, the representative body for providers has said.

Last week, the government announced an additional £11.3bn for local authorities in 2020-21, with an additional £100m for social care, including £25m to ensure care staff are paid the living wage.

However, Scottish Care said it was ‘immensely disappointed’.

It said the increased funding for social care would be around £69m and this would be swallowed up by real living and national minimum wages rises.

Scottish Care chief executive Dr Donald Macaskill said: ‘The Scottish Budget is another huge disappointment. There is a critical gap between the political rhetoric that the government cares for and supports social care and the reality of a funding package which does absolutely nothing to address the problems facing the sector.

‘That reality is a critical and worsening workforce shortages, rising costs, increased levels of need and demand and an urgent need to invest. The social care sector for older people in Scotland is teetering on the brink. This budget far from throwing it a necessary lifeline pushes us closer to the edge.’

Local government this year received £10.8bn.

Before last week’s Budget, Dr Macaskill wrote to the finance secretary outlining concerns.

COSLA, which represents local government north of the border, said the reality of the day to day revenue increase of £495m was not what it seemed.

It said once Scottish government commitments of £590m were factored in what was left was a cut of £95m to the core budget.

Cabinet Secretary for Local Government Aileen Campbell said the ‘increased settlement would ‘ensure fair, sustainable funding for local authorities.’