Vote down the National Care Service Bill, UNISON urges MSPS

Scotland’s largest union, UNISON, is urging MSPs not to support the National Care Service Bill being voted on in Holyrood later today (Thursday).

The union, which is also the largest in social care, has written to every MSP urging them not to support the draft legislation saying “a vote to approve this Bill would be bad not only for those who need a properly functioning care system, but also a bad day for parliamentary democracy.”

The much-delayed piece of legislation goes before MSPs today – but the union believes that it won’t solve the problems in care. It’s also concerned that MSPs have so little detail on what the Scottish government is planning that voting for the legislation would undermine the role parliament is meant to play in making laws.

The union has written to every MSP declaring that Parliament is being asked to buy what amounts to “a pig in a poke” — and at a price that Parliament’s Finance Committee believes the government can’t specify.

UNISON Scotland regional secretary Lilian Macer said: “Passing this Bill wouldn’t just be bad for those needing a properly functioning care system. It would be a bad day for democracy. MSPs are being told to vote for plans they haven’t even seen, far less asked anyone about. It’s treating Parliament, and everyone else with contempt, MSPs deserve better.”

Notes to editors:

– UNISON is the public services union. Our members work in social care, education, local government, NHS, police staff, energy and water. They work in the public, private, NDPB and voluntary sectors.

– The briefing UNISON Scotland sent to MSPs is here:

– The Stage 1 debate on the National Care Service (Scotland) Bill takes place in Holyrood on this afternoon (29 February).

– The legislation was published in June 2022 and the debate on its first stage has been delayed three times as the Scottish government struggled to respond to queries raised by Scottish Parliament Committees.

– The Scottish TUC has also said: “The STUC and our care sector affiliates cannot support the Bill in its current form.”

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