28 Aug 2012
The cost of free personal care to the public purse has soared to £450 million a year, a figure that has more than doubled in the space of seven years.
The figures, released by ISD Scotland, include the costs of both over 65s who receive free care at home, and those in care homes.
With the average age of the population expected to increase over future decades, it is anticipated the cost of free personal care will only rise further.
The hike in costs have coincided with SNP measures to make prescriptions free and hand out free travel to people over 60.
And with it being announced today that more than 2000 nurses have been lost in the space of three years, there is concern that the SNP’s free, vote-winning initiatives are costing frontline healthcare jobs.
Scottish Conservative health spokesman and deputy leader Jackson Carlaw MSP said:
“If the SNP wants to continue funding free personal care, then it has to be far less casual in extending other entitlements and refusing to find ways to make them more sustainable.
“That is why we opposed free prescriptions, and why we want to align free transport to the pensionable age in future.
“A responsible government in Scotland cannot ignore the facts, kidding everyone on that everything and anything is affordable.
“We all know that there is an unprecedented demographic challenge waiting around the corner.”
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