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Rennie reveals Green-SNP budget cuts on social care for every council

February 4, 2019 5:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrats have today published initial estimates of how the Scottish Budget's £50million cut to adult social care will be applied across councils in Scotland.

As part of the Green-SNP budget deal the amount to be spent on adult social care is reduced by £50million across Scotland compared to what was promised in December.

By dividing the £50million cut between Scotland's 32 local authorities, in proportion to their current spending on social care, the Scottish Liberal Democrats are able to show the extent of the proposed cuts in every area.

The leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie said:

"The scale of the cutbacks to social care compared to what was promised in December will be a shock to people in every part of Scotland.

"Edinburgh loses £4.8million, Fife £3.6million, Highland £2.2million and Glasgow £6million.

"The latest national health statistics show that 1,000 older people are trapped in hospital because there is no social care package available to help them live at home. The cuts from the Green-SNP budget will harm their chances of getting the care they need.

"People will be shocked that the response of the Green-SNP budget to the 12% year-on-year increase in delayed discharge is to actually cut the budget back.

"People will be astonished that the Greens signed up to a deal that takes £50million from social care while at the same time adding £54million into the SNP's rainy day reserves.

"Older people have paid their taxes and played their part in society. It is unfair for the Green-SNP budget to squirrel their care cash away for another year."

The £50milllion reduction in social care is contained in the Finance Secretary's letter to Patrick Harvie as, "allowing local authorities the flexibility to offset their own adult social care contributions in 2019-20 by 2.2% compared to 2018-19 or up to £50m across all authorities to help them manage their own budgets".

This means that councils can close the £237m cash gap identified by CoSLA by cutting their social care budgets. They will need to do that to meet the claim by Patrick Harvie in his Budget speech that "the package that we have achieved today more than fills that gap".