At First Minister’s Questions, Sarwar highlights Audit Scotland’s findings that social care in Scotland is in crisis.
We had a staffing crisis even before the pandemic and now services are reporting they do not have the staff they need. This is a stark report that makes clear a lack of action now presents serious risks. We have been calling for a National Care Service for over a decade but it can’t now be used as a Government slogan to delay action until 2026.
Sturgeon responds, saying ministers will establish the National Care Service before the end of the current session of Parliament and that, while the Scottish Government has given a 12.9% pay increase, they still had not gone far enough.
We are increasing the pay of those who work in social care, because recruitment and retention and the valuing of the social care workforce is an important part of what we need to do. An increase of 12.9% is actually what we have already delivered. Does that go far enough? No. And we have said that we want it to go further.
Sarwar said that change had to happen immediately not in the future and he challenged Sturgeon to back Labour’s plans for an immediate pay increase to £12 an hour.