Scotland’s largest union, UNISON, has criticised the Scottish Government for hiring a private legal firm to look at tax implications of the new National Care Service – days after the Bill was published.
The Scottish Government has previously been criticised for awarding design and assessment contracts for the new service to consultancy giants KPMG and Price Waterhouse Coopers.
The Scottish Government previously ran into VAT trouble when setting up Police Scotland. As the new national police service was not under local government control it lost the VAT exemption previously enjoyed by police forces – this had been widely flagged up beforehand, including by UNISON Scotland.
Tracey Dalling, UNISON Scotland’s regional secretary, said: “The Scottish Government has failed to learn from past mistakes and have again pressed forward with legislation before working out some of the basic details. This is yet another example of the Scottish Government risking significant sums of money while looking to cut back in many other areas.
“So far the National Care Service seems to have been a gravy train for consultants; meanwhile the staff who are relied upon to deliver services are left wondering about what will happen to their pensions when their jobs are outsourced from councils and the NHS.
“The National Care Service that is being proposed is not a valid or effective response to the care crisis; nor is it a route to high quality social care. The National Care Service Bill must be withdrawn as it is simply not fit-for-purpose.”
Further information is on the UNISON Scotland website