Cabinet (Meetings)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 23rd June 2022.

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The First Minister:

I think that it is right to move towards a national care service. Of course, the Parliament will scrutinise and debate the legislation that has been put forward, which is about improving the quality and consistency of services and—yes—improving the terms and conditions of those who work in our social care sector.

However, we are not waiting to establish a national care service in order to make those improvements now. We are already increasing the wages of people who work in the adult social care sector. In April this year, the minimum hourly rate increased. That represents a 12.9 per cent increase for those workers in just over a year and, for a full-time adult social care worker, an uplift of more than £1,600 over the course of the financial year. Those are minimum rates of pay, of course; many employers will pay more than those minimums. We are taking action on that now.

In the overall funding of social care, we are taking action. We are in the process of increasing funding for social care by 25 per cent—or in the region of £800 million—over this session of Parliament.

Parliament will scrutinise the legislation for the national care service. Let me read out the views of some people this week on the publication of that legislation. Carers Scotland’s director said:

“We welcome the publication of this new bill ... not least that it sets out in legislation” rights