Before the Scottish Budget Scottish Care had in an Open Letter (https://scottishcare.org/open-letter-to-finance-secretary/ ) called upon the Finance Secretary to recognise the significant fiscal contribution of social care to the whole Scottish economy. We appealed for an increased budget of between 3-5% to address the chronic underfunding of public social care services in Scotland. We are therefore immensely disappointed that the pleas of many across the sector have fallen on deaf ears and that the increased funding which has been announced will only be in the region of £69million. This is swallowed up completely when the increases in the Real Living and National Minimum Wages are taken into account. There is no funding for sustaining the sector to meet increased challenges.
Scottish Care agrees with COSLA (the local government association in Scotland) who have highlighted that the Budget whilst announcing £495m extra for councils also makes £590m worth of Government commitments which they have to carry out. Effectively local government which is already on its knees is facing a £95m shortfall.
Scottish Care Chief Executive Dr Donald Macaskill commented.
“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.”