The Scottish Liberal Democrat autumn conference has today voted to oppose the SNP’s ministerial takeover of care services and establish a new fiscal framework to ensure local authorities receive a fair share of Scottish Government resources.
The proposals will form part of the party’s offer to voters at the forthcoming local authority elections in May 2022.
Communities spokesperson Willie Rennie said:
“To improve our care system, we need to recognise the hard work of staff and ensure that standards are high but that should be a job for properly funded and accountable local authorities, not SNP ministers who think they know best.
“After all, it was Scottish Government ministers who were responsible for sending untested and Covid-positive patients into care homes. Why on earth would anyone want them to give powers over care homes on a permanent basis?
“This SNP Government thinks if they strip local communities of control and take power to Holyrood then all the problems will be solved but as we saw with the centralisation of the police it makes matters worse.
“The root of the problem with social care is the lack of value that the SNP Government have placed on it and the poor pay of its staff. It is little wonder that staff vacancy rates are so high, directly impacting the number of care packages provided and resulting in ever greater delayed discharge from hospital.
“Social care is in crisis and taking control to Holyrood won’t fix it.
“There has always been a bizarre contradiction at the heart of the SNP. They are determined to claim powers from Westminster, yet ruthlessly centralise control in Holyrood.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats are clear that we want every layer of government pulling in the same direction. But to do that, local authorities have to be trusted and empowered to take long term decisions.
“After a decade of brutal treatment at the hands of the SNP, our proposals will allow local authorities to make long-term investments, encourage and reward innovation and ensure each local authority receives a fair share of Scottish Government resources.
“That’s the best way to ensure that social care gets the support it needs.
“At the forthcoming local elections, Scottish Liberal Democrats will stand up for local communities and for a better social care service in the face of out of touch SNP ministers.”