Magazine article Public Finance

Confusion over Scotland's Free Care Policy

Magazine article Public Finance

Confusion over Scotland's Free Care Policy

Article excerpt

Scotland's groundbreaking policy of providing free personal and nursing care for elderly people was introduced without sufficient clarity about whether it was a universal entitlement or one dependent on councils' resources. Audit Scotland has warned.

The spending watchdog also warned of a growing shortfall in funding for the policy, which was implemented from 2002 and set Scotland apart from England, where personal care is means-tested.

'The initial cost estimates were difficult to make because of the limited information available at that time, particularly regarding personal care delivered at home,' Audit Scotland's report, published on February 1, says. Longer-term cost projections have not been updated since 2001, it adds. …

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