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Labour to propose free residential care for those aged over 65

Labour leader Anas Sarwar will outline the plans at his party’s conference on Friday.

04 March 2022

Scots aged over 65 would receive free residential care under a Scottish Labour government, leader Anas Sarwar will say at his party’s conference.

Under the party’s plans, health consequentials provided to the Scottish Government as a result of health spending south of the border would all be spent on providing care for the elderly from 2023-24.

Labour say this could alleviate the financial burden of funding care from 9,600 residents and their families across Scotland.

Anas Sarwar
The Labour leader will announce the plans on Friday (Andrew Milligan/PA)

For non-residential care, the party said it would again use Barnett consequentials – an expected £2.6 billion between this year and 2024-25 – to plug a £519 million funding gap, as well as increase social care pay to £15 per hour.

In his keynote speech on Friday at the conference in Glasgow, Anas Sarwar is expected to say: “So today, conference, I am proud to announce that Scottish Labour will put forward a plan to provide residential care to everyone over the 65 who needs it – free at the point of need.

“This will be the single greatest reform of the care service since the introduction of free personal care.

“But we don’t have to wait until 2026.

“We can take steps right now to set us on track for all care in Scotland to be free at point of need, delivering a health and care system which people can rely on their whole lives.

“A social care service based on our NHS principles.

“That’s our politics.

“Labour politics.

“Building the health and social care system of the future.”

The proposals come as the Scottish Government seeks to legislate for a National Care Service – which will bring a number of services into government control and make them free at the point of use.

The government has pledged to have the service in place by the next election in 2026.

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